Puriscal Farmers Market

Every Saturday morning there is a local farmers market in the town of Puriscal, a short drive or bus ride from Finca Las Alturas. Like similar markets around the world, farmers bring their produce into town and sell direct to consumers in a wonderful, colourful and delicious highlight to the week (I’m especially partial to fresh, locally grown produce).

Plantains in various stages of ripeness

Plantains in various stages of ripeness

Passionfruit makes a delicious juice

Puriscal Farmers Market, Costa Rica

The farmers market used to be out on a street that was closed off to traffic, but as of two weeks ago it moved to a new facility with cover to protect from sun and rain. It’s wonderful! Each of the vendors wears a green shirt to identify them and there is lots of room for expansion.Puriscal Farmers Market

Funky Costa Rican Fruit

I’m completely fascinated — delighted really — with granadillas. They are the coolest fruit ever: delicious, while at the same time they could inspire a special effects professional when creating a new version of aliens from outer space.

I think the ones here in Costa Rica, at least where I am, are the Passiflora ligularis or sweet granadilla. They are delicious as a fruit juice, but I prefer to eat them as a fruit because of their strange and wonderful physical characteristics.

First, there’s the bulbous, hard, crusty shell.

Sweet granadilla, Costa Rica

Then there is the internal sac where the seeds and juice reside. On the inside of the sac are little white, spongy “fingers” that remind me of sea anemones.

Sweet granadilla, Costa Rica

At the tip of each spongy finger is a seed, surrounded by a clear sac of juice. The spongy fingers are inserted into the seed sacs, so as you peel the spongy sac back, the fingers slide out. Oddly, this infrequently spills any of the juice.

Sweet granadilla, Costa Rica

The seeds are crunchy, the juice is tasty, and the whole experience makes me feel like a kid again, because I want to play with my food.