Learn all about passion fruit, the tropical fruit flavor bomb! Passion fruit varieties and names, storage tips, how to buy it, and nutrition information.
’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 darn tasty, and coincidentally you’re in love with the world as you nibble down the juicy yellow interior of this tropical flavor bomb.
Passion fruit (or maracuyá in Spanish), is a tropical fruit indigenous to Brazil, Paraguay, and Northern Argentina, though you can now find it growing in many places around the world, to include Hawaii and Florida!
On the outside, passion fruits are typically dark purple, sometimes wrinkly, spheres. On the inside, passion fruits are bright yellow, with many black seeds. The inside is the edible portion of the fruit. Passion fruit tastes tart and sweet, with a strong tropical aroma.
Buying passion fruit
When is passion fruit in season?
Because these are a tropical plant, passion fruit is generally available year round! They’re at their peak in the warmer months.
How to know if passion fruit is ripe
Passion fruit is 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 be heavy for its weight – lighter weighing passion fruits typically have less juicy centers.
Passion fruit names around the world
Traveling? Passion fruit goes by a few different names. In Hawaii the common term for passion fruit is liliko’i. In Brazil it’s called maracujá, and in Spanish it’s maracuyá).
Where to buy passion fruit
Passion fruit puree can be purchased frozen in most super markets. Fresh passion fruit can be more difficult to find. Look for it in specialty fruit markets, in international (Asian and Mexican) grocery stores, or buy it online. (I’m a huge fan of purchasing tropical fruits on Etsy, which connects you directly to growers around the world!)
Types of passion fruit
There are many types 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. 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: Common in Brazil, this variety of passion fruit is bright yellow and bigger than most varieties.
How to eat passion fruit
You can eat everything on the inside (the passion fruit seeds are edible)! The easiest way to eat a passion fruit is to simply:
- Cut the passion fruit in half.
- Scoop the insides out with a spoon – this is called the pulp.
- Enjoy! If it’s tart, feel free to sprinkle on a bit of sugar or sweeter.
From here you can eat it plain, scoop over yogurt, or even make passion fruit curd! If you want to remove the seeds from the passion fruit, simply push the pulp through a wire mesh sieve. This will create a passion fruit puree that’s perfect for baking or creating passion fruit juice or passion fruit smoothies from.
Need more inspiration? Check out all of our passion fruit recipes!
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 1 month, or on the counter for about 2 weeks. You can also freeze passion fruit for longterm storage!
Dragon fruit vs. passion fruit
What’s the difference between dragon fruit and passion fruit? While these are both funky looking tropical fruits, they’re very different one you cut into them. While passion fruit is intensely tart and sweet, dragon fruit has a more mild flavor, tasting like a combination of pear and kiwi. And while passion fruit has a juicy pulp that is quite liquidy when cut into, dragon fruit has a solid texture that can be sliced or diced.
Passion fruit Health Benefits
Passion fruit has a host of health benefits for your body, to include being high in antioxidants, aiding digestive health, and having a low glycemic index. Here are is the nutrition information for passion fruit (values calculated for 1 fruit).
Passion fruit is very low in calories, making it a great choice for people looking to lose weight.
Passion fruit is low in carbs, making it great if you’re on a low carb or keto diet.
The seeds of the passion fruit give it some fiber, which will help you feel full. 1 [assion fruit contains 7% of your Daily Value (DV) for fiber.
As with most fruits, passion fruit has no protein.
As with most fruits, passion fruit has no fat.
9% Daily Value of Vitamin C
1 passion fruit contains 9% of your Vitamin C needs for a day! This antioxidant helps maintain your immune system as well as helps to create collagen.
5% Daily Value of Vitamin A
Passion fruit is also a source of Vitamin A, which is essential in many components of healthy vision, as well as immunity!