Passion fruit is indigenous to warm, tropical climates. The fleshy, sweet and tart seeds are enjoyed across the world either in its natural form or as a juice. There are two distinctly different types of passion fruit. The first is the larger, yellow passion fruit. This bright fruit is named the Golden Passion Fruit. It has a smooth texture and can grow to the size of a grapefruit.
People more often think of the second type of passion fruit, the deep purple, smaller variety. This form of the fruit is much smaller than the Golden Passion Fruit.
Choosing the Best
Choosing the best passion fruit goes against traditional logic. The best passion fruits are the ones with wrinkled, dark skin. The purple passion fruit may even have a few brown spots. Allowing the fruit to wrinkle for an extra day or two increases the sugar content and adds to the taste.
Passion fruits that are not yet ripe can be left at room temperature to ripen naturally. When ripe, passion fruit can be placed in a plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator for one week.
Preparing and Cooking
Every culture has its own technique for incorporating passion fruit into local cuisine. When not eating the seeds of the passion fruit as a yummy snack dishes and juices from around the world provide a tasty treat. Yellow passion fruit is normally used for juice and purple is sold in fresh markets.
In Paraguay many desserts feature the passion fruit. It is a key ingredient in cheesecakes and ice creams. New Zealanders can purchase passion fruit fresh or canned and serve a passion fruit soft drink. The passion fruit plays a prominent role in the cuisine of the Philippines and is enjoyed by both children and adults. The sweet and tart fruit is sold fresh in market stalls and for school lunches. Venders serve the passion fruit with a straw stuck in it to suck out the juice and possibly the seeds. In Israel passion fruit is the basis for an award winning wine.
Passion fruit is a healthy choice. It is cholesterol free and low in sodium and calories. It is a great source of fiber and Vitamin C. Passion fruit is also high in beta-carotene and potassium.
One serving of passion fruit equals 3.5 ounces:
- Carbohydrates – 23.38 g
- Sugars -11.20 g
- Dietary Fibers – 10.4 g
- Fat – .70 g
- Protein – 2.20 g
- Vitamin C – 50 percent RDA
- Potassium – 7 percent RDA