There are few smells more intoxicating than frangipani. Yes vanilla is lovely, and freshly baked bread is certainly comforting, but nothing beats the sensual lazy day smell of frangipani. Back home - and by 'home', I mean my parent's place (does that ever go away?) - the scent of frangipani is what first hits you, followed swiftly afterwards by the wall of humidity. My parents live on the East Coast - smack-bang in the middle of South Africa's tropical zone. It is known for its sandy beaches, lukewarm water and packs of monkeys whose favourite activity is stealing the pawpaws off the trees of unsuspecting suburbanites.
The baby monkeys cling to their mom's stomachs, hanging upside down while the wily moms plunder whatever fruit tree they can find. We were unlucky enough to have not one, but a few pawpaw trees in our yard. And some bananas. And even a lonely pineapple. Suffice to say, we never saw much of that produce. Monkey mama saw to that. She would take a few bites out of the not yet ripe pawpaw, then toss the remains on the grass, spoiling it for the rest of us. Thanks for nothing Monkey Mama.
But the frangipani... The beguiling smell is something that can't be stolen, it is just there, wafting on the muggy air, making my nostrils happy every time I visit. The memory of that scent is so strong that I can almost recall it at will. Almost, but not quite. Making this parfait studded with tropical fruit, I wished that teleportation was a reality, that I could swiftly be transported back to Natal, where the monkeys are wild and the perfume of frangipani is not merely imagined. And where I could enjoy my tropical themed breakfast, untouched by Monkey Mama. Turns out I can be wily too.
Tropical Fruit Parfait
A Creative Pot original
granola/muesli - i used one with tropical fruits, but you can use a plain one
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
4 tbsp coconut milk
2 grenadillas (passionfruit)
1 small mango, diced
grated coconut (optional)
1. Start by layering the granola or muesli in the bottom of pretty glasses (or even small glass serving bowls).
2. Follow this with two tablespoons of yoghurt and a tablespoon of coconut milk each, topped with half a grenadilla (passionfruit) and a few cubes of mango.
3. Repeat layers, ending with a fruit layer. Sprinkle some grated coconut on top and serve immediately.
For variation, try swapping out the grenadilla (passionfruit) or mango with other tropical fruits, such as pineapple, kiwis or even pawpaws. The possibilities are endless.