Passionberry (Solanum cleistogamum) is a native plant of the central desert regions and yet another of Australia’s many and varied wild tomatoes. They are a real sweet surprise and the fruit are ripe when creamy yellow and taste somewhere between banana / caramel and vanilla with a smoky aftertaste.

Passionberries have become rare in most of Central Australia because of widespread overgrazing by feral and station animals such as goats, donkeys, horses, cattle and camels, which can smell the ripe fruit from kilometres away. These introduced grazers, with double stomachs, fully digest the seed, whereas Kangaroos and Emus scarified the seed and distributed it.

Although on the edge of extinction in the wild, Mike and Gayle Quarmby have multiplied these plants at production plots on Aboriginal communities, where they are dried ready for year round supply.

Uses: Simply simmer in a small quantity of sugar and add a sweet wine or liqueur and reduce for a stunning dessert drizzle. Great on pancakes and ice cream.

Similar to: Kutjera but sweet

Supplied: Semi dried / frozen 

Available to: Outback Pride Fresh food service

Mike and Gayle Quarmby

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