Let this name melt in your mouth. Passion. Fruit. That’s exactly what this fruit stands for, a taste that prompts the passion in us. Its binomial name, Passiflora Edulis, sounds pretty gracious too, right? And the flower itself is beautiful. Already with opening the fruit pack, a tropical scent fills the kitchen, yummy. As you can see, we really start romancing when it comes to our fruit of the day. It’s just that we can’t get enough from its sweet-sourish flavor that with its exotic savor zooms us to South America in only one sip.
Ok, to balance our passion a bit, let’s talk about some rational facts. The passion fruit is a vine species of the family of passion flower, its long tendrils grapple around anything they can find. It is native to Brazil, northern Argentina, and Paraguay, being the national flower of the latter; however, the cultivation spread to wider parts of South and Central America, as well as Southeast Asia (probably because so many people got so passionate about the fruit as we are ;-)). The fruit belongs to a type of berry, and has multiple strains, with over 500 cultivar types, expressed in different forms and colors. The primarily cultivated ones, which most of us have probably seen somewhere, are round or oval shaped, get as big as a tennis ball (or even bigger depending on the strain), and come either with maturity in a dark purple with wrinkled skin or, as our passion fruit, in a yellow with a smooth skin. The passion fruit has plenty of edible black seeds that are surrounded by a jellylike, yellowish fruit pulp.
Its Portuguese name, maracujá, originates in the dead language tupí of the indigenous people in South America. In Colombia, passion fruit is one of the most important fruits, often used for juices and desserts. There are three kinds of “maracuyás” available throughout the country.
The fruit is a very good source of dietary fiber with about 10 g in one fruit back (3.17Oz/90g). Moreover, with 30 mg the amount of C vitamins is tremendously high, satisfying almost half of the recommended daily intake, and accompanied with A vitamins, the passion fruit is a great assistance for our immune system. And one doesn't call vitamin A the “beauty vitamin” for just anything as it supports the health of the eyes and skin. The vitamin niacin expedites the regeneration of muscles, nerves, and skin. Passion fruit also contains minerals, like iron and magnesium that are important for our performance, potassium that is beneficial for the health of bones and teeth, as well as a regulated heart rate and blood pressure. And this is by far not the end of the list of nutrient, vitamins, and minerals passion fruits contain. Overall, the fruit also has a calming effect that reduces anxiety and stress and improves sleeping habits.
As we can see the passion fruit has a high nutritional value that brings along plenty of health benefits, which makes eating it even more attractive. Still, you’re not in love? Then try passion fruit in your next fruit salad, salad sauce, or juice and we’ll see if you can resist its distinct exotic flavor or if you feel the same passion rising inside you as we do. And don’t forget to let us know if you became a passion fruit lover :-).