Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Akebi aka Chocolate vine...

This plant is a novelty... native of Japan...
The Japanese folks call them 'Akebi' while the English speaking world labels it 'chocolate vine' because their flowers seem to smell like chocolate... 
We are very lucky to have these vines growing wildly in our property...
Ours is the three-leaved variety as opposed to the five-leaved ones that can be found in the nearby hills...
The fruits do not look attractive when green...
However, they take on a very pretty pinkish-purple tone as they ripen...
At the same time, the fruit splits vertically from top to bottom, revealing a whitish pulp....
Birds love this flesh as we sometimes observed empty fruits that are either left dangling on the vines or have dropped onto the ground...
We carefully split open the pulp and were pleasantly surprised to see the insides being quite 'intricately designed'...
The taste is faintly sweet... the seeds can be quite bitter if chewed on...
Just out of curiosity, we tried cooking the skin with some miso sauce...
The taste was slightly bitter and some Japanese folks say that it goes well with Japanese wine (sake)...