The Passion Fruit is increasingly popular all over the world, including Europe. Until recently it was cultivated only in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Today, the dry and windy climate that characterizes, for example, the southern part of Italy has favored the spread of this crop.
There are so many questions we ask about this delicious and beneficial exotic fruit; and here are the answers we’ve been waiting for!
What is Passion Fruit?
Passion fruit is a tropical fruit native to South America and known, also, as granadilla or maracuja, tupí mara kuya or guaraní mburucuyà.
It has an oval or rounded shape, medium or small cut. Its skin is tough, purple-brown in color, but inside, the flesh is soft and rich in seeds. Its flavor is, exotically, sour-sweet, with an intense fragrance.
It is ready to be eaten when the skin is wrinkled, purple-brown in color. If the peel has dents or tears, it is not a problem. Especially when it is organic, it is rarely aesthetically perfect.
What properties does the Passion Fruit possess?
Passion fruit is rich in valuable nutrients that are good for health: water, vitamins, minerals, fiber and powerful antioxidants. Let us discover together its many beneficial properties:
- Antioxidant: contains valuable antioxidant molecules such as Vitamin C, Beta-carotene and Polyphenols, which are very useful in preventing chronic diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and type 2 diabetes.
- Reduces blood sugar levels and cholesterol: rich in soluble fiber, it can reduce the absorption rate of sugar and fat.
- Anti-inflammatory: has high anti-inflammatory power, counteracting inflammatory disorders and diseases, such as osteoarthritis.
- Promotes intestinal health: rich in fiber, it promotes intestinal transit and microbiota function.
How do you recognize “ripe” Passion Fruit, ready to be eaten?
The color of the skin as well as its texture suggest to us the degree of ripeness of the passion fruit.
The more mature ones mostly have shades of purple, yellow and red. Not all of them have uniform coloring, indeed some tend to mix different shades.
However, sometimes it may happen that some externally green fruits are already ripe. Here’s where the texture of the peel comes to our rescue!
Whenthe skin is smooth, it means the passion fruit is unripe, while when the skin is wrinkled and has small depressions, then the fruit is ripe!
Those that are too shriveled may have passed the maximum maturity point.
How do you eat passion fruit?
Passion fruit is eaten by cutting it in half and enjoying the pulp with a teaspoon, as if eating from a cup.
Great in smoothie or juice form, perhaps creating a mix with your favorite fruits.
A curiosity: the flower and the origin of the name
The name passion fruit originates from its distinctive flower and shape , which are reminiscent of Jesus’ Passion and crucifixion.
Here are the religious symbols of Christ’s passion that we can find in this wonderful flower:
- the crown of colored filaments represents the crown of thorns
- the five stamens represent the five wounds of Jesus
- The three stigmas represent the three nails on the hands and feet
- the ten petals indicate the apostles who remained faithful, except for Judas and Peter
- the androgynophore represents the flagellation column
- tendrils are the scourges.