If you’ve never had a passion fruit before, prepare for a pleasant surprise! Roughly between the size of a golf ball and a small apple, the thick skin of a ripe passion fruit is purple, leathery and wrinkled. Inside are a number of seeds covered in a juicy yellow to orange pulp, which are edible and have a very flavorful and tart taste. Due to its similarities the Spanish nicknamed the fruit “little pomegranate”.
The passion fruit was named for its flower by Catholic missionaries in South America, who saw symbolism between the passion flower’s complex structure and the passion of Christ. They saw the flower’s corona threads as a symbol of the crown of thorns, the five stamens for wounds, the five petals and five sepals as the ten apostles (excluding Judas and Peter) and the three stigmas for the nails on the cross.
Passion fruit juice is often used with other fruit juices to enhance flavor and aroma. They’re fairly easy to eat fresh—all you need to do is cut one in half and scoop out the pulpy seeds with a spoon and enjoy! Passion fruit are rich in vitamin C and potassium. When selecting a ripe passion fruit, make sure the skin is slightly wrinkled; if it’s smooth the fruit is still immature and not ready to eat. Ripen your passion fruit by leaving out of direct light at room temperature. Avoid passion fruit with a lot of black marks on the skin.