These penis-shaped passion fruits are the current favorite conversation topic in São José de Ribamar, Brazil. No one can explain how come the fruits of a tree Maria Rodrigues de Aguiar Farias planted two years ago came out so suggestively formatted. But everyone seems eager to taste it.
Dona Maria, as she is locally known, wasn’t even sure whether this was indeed a passion fruit tree, a favorite in the tropics, eaten by cutting a little hole on its top and sucking its juices. But she’s been very busy fielding requests from neighbors who want the seeds to plant in their own land. “It really looks so much like THAT,” said her neighbor Maria Elizabeth da Cruz, who’s credited for having helped water the plant.
Even agronomists with the Maranhão’s agribusiness state agency (AGED) got involved and concluded in their analysis that the tree underwent some rare genetic mutation, that may or may not have been caused by its main pollinator, a type of beetle.
As for its popularity, it’s still growing, fueled by media attention and local artists who have written odes in verse and rhyme, inspired by the penis-shaped fruit. According to the state agronomists’ studies, its unusual shape may also determine it to taste differently from your run-of-the-mill passion fruit.
It’s entirely up to you, of course, to come up with any original or obvious jokes about the name and shape of this honest-to-god, dead-serious funny tree. As for us, our agenda of things to do in São José de Ribamar the next time we visit just got its first obligatory stop: “Get a taste of that fruit.” (Thanks, Jorge Keller)