Passion Fruit 101
Learn all about passion fruit, the tropical flavor bomb! Different varieties and names, storage tips, how to buy it, and nutrition information.
Ole’ folklore says when you eat a passion fruit you’ll fall in love with the next person you lay eyes on. I think the scientific evidence behind this is simply that passion fruits are so damn tasty, and coincidentally you’re in love with the world as you nibble down the juicy yellow interior of this tropical flavor bomb.
Buying passion fruit
Passion fruit seasonality: Generally available all year because it’s sourced from a number of places (Australia, Hawaii, California, South America).
How to tell if passion fruit is ripe: It’s most ripe when it’s all wrinkly. Scientifically speaking, this is when the fruit is ready to sow its seeds, so the skin weakens and wrinkles. Gastronomically speaking, this is when it’s the YUMMIEST! The ripe passion fruit will also have a darker color, either dark purple or dark yellow/orange/red.
Passion fruit names around the world: Traveling? Passion fruit goes by a few different names. In Hawaii the common term is liliko’i, in Brazil it’s called maracuya, and you may see it called granadilla. These all vary a bit though (see below!)
Variations of passion fruit
There are many variations of passion fruit within the passiflora species of flowers. And while they all differ an insy bit, they’re all going to have sweet, tart, juicy yellow interiors that are interlaced with black seeds, with hard outer casings. There are two distinct variations of the passion fruit which differ by color:
- Purple: Originating in the Southern Brazil/Northern Argentina area, the purple passion fruit has a rich flavor, is less acidic than the yellow, and is really juicy on the inside.
- Yellow: They’re not entirely sure where this variety originates, though it tends to come from tropical areas, like Hawaii (liliko’i). It’s usually a bit bigger while less flavorful.
And in my travels, I’ve come across a few different varieties of passion fruit worth mentioning.
- Granadilla: From the regions around Peru, this variety is yellow but ultra sweet and delicious.
- Maracuya: I thought this was simply the Portuguese word for passion fruit, but apparently this is a whole different variety, common in Brazil.This one is bright yellow and bigger than most varieties.
How to eat passion fruit
The easiest way to eat a passion fruit is to cut it in half and simply scoop the pulp out with a spoon! You can eat it, seeds and all (a touch of sugar or sweetener helps cut through the sourness).
To remove the seeds from the passion fruit, simply push the pulp through a wire mesh sieve or cheesecloth. This will create a passion fruit juice that’s perfect for drinking (or you can mix it with other tropical fruits to create a homemade Hawaiian POG)!
How to store passion fruit
Unripe passion fruit should be left out at room temperature to ripen. Ripe passion fruit can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week.
Passion fruit nutrition information
per the edible portion of 1 fruit (18g)
- Calories: 17
- Carbohydrates: 4g
- Fiber: 2g, 7% Daily Value (DV)
- Protein: 0g
- Fat: 0g
- 9% DV of Vitamin C: A water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant to fight against potentially damaging free radicals (molecules with unshared electrons that float around wreaking havoc) and an important cofactor in collagen synthesis.
- 5% DV of Vitamin A: Provides the provitamin version of this fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it comes from a plant source and your body converts the plant pigment into active Vitamin A. It is essential in many components of healthy vision, as well as immunity and cell growth/differentiation.