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)…
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About Lrong

Gardening, I adore... Photography, I cherish... Scuba diving, I fancy... Shakuhachi, I relish... and barefoot walking, I revel in...
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10 Responses to Akebi aka Chocolate vine…

  1. Looks like banana when peeled. Does it grow in the tropics?

  2. Lrong says:

    I imagine they should be able to grow in the tropics… but it is actually not a very tasty fruit to eat, I think…

  3. rainfield61 says:

    God created so many interesting things for us.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Wow what a good fruit! With vines like this one, the birds in the air stave no more!! Also I love anything with chocolate haha… I am sure I will like smelling the chocolate scent from the flower. Enjoy this wonderful vine!

  5. Norma Chang says:

    Very interesting fruit. Is the skin tough or tender? Does it requires long cooking? Since you cook the skin, I imagine it is tender.

  6. Lrong says:

    Somewhat 'spongish', I'd say… the cooking time is rather short…

  7. Lrong says:

    I shall post the flower pictures this coming spring… stay tuned…

  8. Lrong says:

    And I thank God for that…

  9. Nice, exquisite…. the flesh looks a bit like local durian belanda and buah nona.

  10. Lrong says:

    You are quite right about the flesh… the durian belanda tastes much better than the akebi although I cannot say the same for the buah noni…

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