Thursday, August 11, 2011

Maypops and sweet tea

I'm still learning cool things about the south. Though I've lived here just about five years now, there is still so much to learn about this interesting section of the country. I was at a friend's house Sunday night and as we arrived for fun he handed out a bag of maypops to us all, some toothpicks, markers, and thumbtacks, and said to make something with them. I was told that they are called maypops. I had to learn more about maypops.

"Passiflora incarnata, commonly known as Maypop, Purple passionflower, True passionflower, Wild apricot, and Wild passion vine, is a fast growing perennial vine with climbing or trailing stems. A member of the passionflower genus Passiflora, the Maypop has large, intricate flowers with prominent styles and stamens. One of the hardiest species of passionflower, it is a common wildflower in the southern United States."

The flower is so pretty! I'll have to keep a lookout for them. I was told that when you stomp on the fruit of the passionflower, it pops, hence its name. In the innocent, Andy Griffith Mayberry days, kids would gather them and pop them all day long. Kind of like we do with bubble wrap now. But it's not the same.

You can eat them, though reportedly the maypop fruits are seedy. The leaves are edible too.

We had fun making insects and mini statues with our maypops. Some were lopsided, some were cute. Mine was deemed "interesting." LOL, I'm always the odd one. So I was glad to have learned more about the varied flora and fauna here in Georgia and to have participated in an old-timey fun thing with the natural fruit around here.

In another cute southern thing, at school the next day, I was talking with a couple of friends, and they mentioned the Chicken Express 'Happy Hour.' I was surprised to hear this, because there are a lot of Baptists around here (including me!) who don't drink alcohol (including me!) Turns out, 'Happy Hour' at Chicken Express is half priced sweet tea. Now, don't let anything come between a southerner and his sweet tea!


Ma said...

Passionflowers also make a nice tea! I wish I had some here..:)

Elizabeth Prata said...

Really?!?! I am all for passionflower tea. Or any other natural herbal tea. I will redouble my efforts to find some passionflowers around here :)