Tropical breakfast

Somebody shoot me. Yesterday was a full 24 hours of travel with nothing but intermittent naps, and of course I wake up this morning at my usual time of 6am after only 3 hours of sleep. And I seem to have acquired a chest cold. Or pneumonia. Or Ecuadorian Lung Rot, or something. I’m hoping that at some imminent time point, after I’ve taken care of a few chores, my physiology will allow me to get some sleep.

Until then, let’s look back in time, to a morning a whole week ago, when I would regularly awaken to a whole grand morning feast of exotic tropical fruits, and I’d feel like eating them all. This is my taste test of a granadillo, a weird fruit with a horrible color (gray) and an unappetizing texture (watery mucus) and a fine sweet flavor.

O PZ of times past, who could awaken in fine fettle and a zest for adventure, please reincarnate in this body soon.


  1. SC says

    As a textural eater, I don’t think I’d like that, unless they turned it into a jam or something. You never know, though.

    Feel better soon.

  2. Kimpatsu says

    O PZ of times past, who could awaken in fine fettle and a zest for adventure, please reincarnate in this body soon.
    You need to regenerate into Phil Plait, PZ…

  3. says

    Somebody shoot me.

    I can hear Donohue issuing the fatwa now. Or is it another bunch does that? These theists all sound the same to me.

  4. says

    Ew for the fruit. Are you sure that’s what the locals REALLY eat and not just a practical joke they like playing on the tourists? Otherwise, I may have an explanation for that “flu” of yours…

  5. CalGeorge says

    That’s not grenadillo… it’s the fertilized eggs of Christian women!

    God is punishing you.


  6. Stephen Wells says

    I’m drooling now- those are soooo delicious, sweet and tangy and mmmmm… fetch me a spoon. Passion fruits are the greatest.

  7. Niobe says

    “That’s not grenadillo… it’s the fertilized eggs of Christian women! God is punishing you.”

    Like he wouldn’t be able to distinguish those tastes by now? haha.

  8. Aphrodine says

    “Gray, watery mucous.”

    Thanks PZ. You have officially ruined my appetite. Forever.

  9. joolya says

    Mmm, I’m thinking about fresh fruity Yogurt de los Amazones and the little cheese rolls. Best food combo ever.

  10. Sharon H says

    I used to eat one of those every day when I lived in South America. I miss them. Also, I miss empanadas with lime.

  11. John says

    PZ, do not take the chest cold thing lightly if your condition persist. Friends of mine returned from the Galapagos two months ago and one had “just a chest cold” that eventually was diagnosed as pneumonia. Luckily he was treated in time. Remember Bernie Mac and do not underestimate your symptoms.

  12. andyo says

    It’s granadilla in Peru, but Ecuatorians might have the male noun for it (in Spanish, nouns, besides being singular or plural, also have “gender”, pretty nice language).

    I never really thought about it looking gross, all I can say is you guys should try it! It’s certainly not a joke, and it’s really sweet. Anyone who has been to any of those South American countries and tasted fruit won’t go back to the insipid fruits of the more northern parts unless they absolutely have to put up with them (like I do now).

    I think our host can attest to that, if he tried other fruits. I think the summertime is even better, with the sweetest watermelons and cantaloupes you will ever taste in your life.

    There’s also another sweet sweet fruit called tuna, that some of you may also find a bit strange, since it’s a friggin cactus. It’s supposed to grow in the US as well, but I haven’t seen it here in L.A. I had a love/hate relationship with it as a kid, since I hate small thorns.

  13. says

    @andyo #24: Prickly pear fruit is indeed available in the American Southwest, in both fruit and juice form. However, it is a lot easier to find the pads of the prickly pears (heck, we can even buy them here in the D.C. suburbs!): a good substitute for green bell pepper in anything you might serve green bell pepper in.

    PZ: everytime I’ve come back from the Galapagos I’ve had digestive issues. I followed all the appropriate water & food protocols, but still it strikes… (My colleague here now wonders if by drinking lots of distilled water for a week and half, maybe we’ve lost the local MidAtlantic gut flora, and are reacting to its recolonization). Hope you don’t go through that as well.

    I agree with the others who say: get checked out if the cough persists…

  14. says

    My guts are holding up well, with no problems there at all…the cough thing may be a result of stress and lack of sleep screwing up my immune system. I’m actually seeing a doctor for other matters this week, and I’ll be mentioning the Ecuadorian Lung Rot to her.

  15. says

    Uggh, PZ. I was in the Galapagos the same time you were (I didn’t run into you though). I also started feeling bad during the time-of-the-many-flights and am seeing the doc this afternoon.

  16. Jacques says

    For what it’s worth, I also seem to have developed some kind of lung rot in the past few days. I think it started mid last week in Montreal, then I went west to Toronto and spread it around there and then came back yesterday and spread it all along lake ontario with stops in Rockton and Brockville.

  17. James F says

    Oh, BTW… on Skepchick, Masala Skeptic said you would be attending Dragon*Con. I’m guessing it’s a typo and we’ll have to make do with James Randi, Michael Shermer, Steve Novella, Lori Lipman Brown, D.J. Grothe, George Hrab, Derek & Swoopy…oh yeah, Phil Plait…and the rest. But if it’s not a typo, that is awesome news. Come on, you know you want to: Jewel Staite, Morena Baccarin, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk…and that’s just the Firefly guests.

  18. Jon D says

    We had Granadillas on the farm I grew up on in South Africa. they’re really nice when you spoon a bunch of them over ice cream.. I could quite happily live on them!

    Welcome back. hope you feel better soon

  19. Longtime Lurker says


    unappetizing texture (watery mucus)

    A granadillo granita would circumvent this textural problem.

    Tuna (prickly pear “pears”) and nopales (the “pads” of the cactus) should be available in any U.S. locale with a good “Latin” market. Both are delicious… tuna paletas (posicles) are muy delicioso, but tend to have seeds in them, so be forewarned. Anybody else miss MAJeff,OM’s “foodie” posts?

    Get the old respiratory system checked out, you don’t want to give Donohue and his “ilk” reason to gloat!

  20. Feynmaniac says

    This would make a great episode of House . Biologist PZ Myers goes to the Galapagos and then feels sick. I’m not sure however you could show that much elitist bastardry on prime time tv.

  21. Crudely Wrott says

    PZ, you simply have a mild case of the Creeping Crawling Crud. Standard fare for world travelers. Best treated with warm tea and milk and listening to a child reading aloud one of your favorite books. The capabilities of your biochemistry will take care of things within, probably, three mornings.

    If this should work please let me know. I have no evidence that it works though it has made me feel better from time to time. Yeah, I know. It doesn’t sound like a reasonable treatment but then most cases of CCC come and go within three days.

    Welcome home.

  22. says

    beggin’ your pardon, PZ .. but granadilla (feminine) is a fruit, while granadillo (masculine) is a tree. Unless you were eating tree bark, I suspect what you consumed was a granadilla.

    It’s a/k/a Golden Passion Fruit

  23. Bride of Shrek OM says


    we had those in the backyard growing up along with Mangoes, PawPaw, and all other manner of tropical fruits( comes with having parents who were members of the Rare & Tropical Fruits Council of North Queensland). I used to think they were delicious but honestly PZ, I thought you were gonna hurl for a minute there.

    Pretty hoity toity for a man who’ll eat Lutefisk if you ask me.

  24. speedwell says

    Lutefisk is not food, it is protein fortified soap. A Minnesota colleague of mine laughs, but agrees.

  25. says

    PZ, I came home with the Ecuadorian Lung Rot too, it’s dreadful.

    The hotel in Quito certainly did have some very fine exotic fruits. I especially liked the white pineapple, which was on the Xpedition too.

    A man once died in my arms after choking on Lutefisk at a Finnish-American social club. I was trying to use the Heimlich Maneuver, thinking his airways were blocked. As it turns out he had suffered a massive heart attack which may have been merely coincidental to the lye-soaked delicacy.

  26. Mandi K says

    Granadillas are common in South Africa in season; as a child I used to eat the pulp and pips, then squeeze grape juice (warm from the vine) into the halves and pretend I was drinking from an elegant wine glass.
    We eat granadilla yoghurt, drink granadilla juice and pop ’em on ice cream, as Jon D said. Love granadilla, love it, love it! And they have the most extraordinary flowers…