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Passion Fruit

passion fruit

Passiflora edulis is a vine species of passion flower that is native to Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina (Corrientes and Misiones provinces, among others).

The Passion fruit is so called because it is one of the many species of Passion Flower. ("Passion Flower" being the literal English translation of the Latin genus name, Passiflora). The name was given by Spanish missionaries to South America as an expository aid while trying to convert the indigenous inhabitants to Christianity. One ingenious expository device was using parallels between the parts of this common South American flower and elements of the account of the torture (the Passion) of Christ prior to his crucifixion. 

The passion fruit is round to oval, either yellow or dark purple at maturity, with a soft to firm, juicy interior filled with numerous seeds. The fruit is both eaten and juiced; passion fruit juice is often added to other fruit juices to enhance the aroma. Several distinct varieties of passion fruit with clearly differing exterior appearances exist. The bright yellow flavicarpa variety, also known as the Golden Passion Fruit, can grow up to the size of a grapefruit, has a smooth, glossy, light and airy rind. The dark purple edulis variety is smaller than a lemon, though it is less acidic than the yellow passion fruit, and has a richer aroma and flavour.

Fresh passion fruit is high in beta carotene, potassium, and dietary fibre. Passion fruit juice is a good source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and good for people who have high blood pressure. Some research is showing that purple passion fruit peel may help with controlling asthma symptoms.

Culinary uses

Passion fruit is widely considered one of the most delicious fruits in the world and has a tart, aromatic flavor.  They are commonly eaten fresh by simply halving the fruit and scooping out the pulp. It is also a popular additive for drinks and each nation has its own unique variation. It can be blended with milk while elsewhere it is a popular flavoring for soft drinks or alcoholic beverages. The fruit can also be made into syrup, which is frequently used as a topping for ice creams and ices. The pulp of the Passion fruit is also used for a variety of deserts, from cakes and tarts to sorbets.