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Friday, April 24, 2015

Passion Fruit

                         


Passion Fruit:

About:

Passaflora edulis also known as passion fruit is a vine species of the passion flower that is native to Brazil, Paraguay, ans northern Argentina.  It is cultivated commercially in tropical and subtropical areas for its sweet seedy fruit.  It is widely grown in south and central America, the Caribbean, Africa, southern Asia, Israel, Australia, Hawaii, and the U.S.   The passion fruit is round to oval in shape, either yellow or dark purple in color at maturity with a soft to firm juicy interior filled with numerous seeds.  

Varieties:

There are over 500 different varieties of passion fruit in existence.   The two main types are purple and yellow.  Here are a few:

Purple Form

  • Black Knight - Developed in Massachusetts for pot culture.  Fragrant dark purple fruit with size and shape of an egg.  Excellent flavor
  • Edgehill - Originated in Vista, CA.  Similar to the Black Knight
  • Frederick - Originated in Lincoln Acres, CA.  Large nearly oval fruit greenish purple with a reddish cast.  Slightly tart.  Good for eating out of hand.  Excellent for juicing.
  • Kahuna - Very large.  Medium purple fruit.  Sweet subacid flavor.  Good for juicing.
  • Paul Ecke - Originated in Encinitas, CA.  Medium sided with purple fruit. Good quality.  Suitable for juicing and eating out of hand.
  • Purple Giant -  Very large fruit.  Dark purple when mature.
  • Red Rover - Originated in Lincoln Acres, CA.  Medium to large round fruit.  Rind is clear red color.  Sweet rich flavor with tart overtones.  Good for eating out of hand or juicing. 
Yellow Form

  • Brazilian Gold - Large golden yellow fruit Larger than standard forms.  Somewhat tart flavor
  • Golden Giant -  Originated in Australia.  Large yellow fruit.

Uses:

Across the world passion fruit has a variety of uses related to its appealing taste as a whole fruit and as a juice.  It can be eaten out of hand, or blended with a little water and strained  to extract the seeds.  The juice can then be used in a variety of ways. 


Nutrition:

Fresh passion fruit is a rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fiber.   It is a very good source of dietary fiber and a good source of vitamin C , vitamin A and flavonoid antioxidants.   It is very rich in potassium.  It is a very good source of minerals iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus.  


Health Benefits:

Because of its fiber passion fruit is a good bulk laxative.  It helps protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing its exposure time to toxic substances, and wiping off cancer causing toxic substances from the colon.  The vitamin C helps develop resistance against flu-like infective agents, and scavenges harmful pro-inflammatory free radicals.  Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin A help maintain healthy mucous membranes and skin.  Natural fruits rich in vitamin A and flavonoids help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.  The potassium in passion fruit helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

Season:

Passion fruit is most plentiful in the U.S. from March through September.   California passion fruit is available most of the year.  Imports come from Thailand, Brazil, and New Zealand and come on the market different seasons.  


Selecting and Storing:

As a general rule the worse a passion fruit looks , the better it tastes.  With the exception of the Maracuya variety   a smooth skinned passion fruit needs to ripen.  Keep at room temperature until it becomes wrinkled and shriveled.  At that time it is ready to eat or refrigerate.   You can scoop the pulp into a freezer container where it can be kept frozen for up to several months.  


Preparing and Serving:

Wash fruit in cold water and pat dry.  Cut the fruit lengthwise into two halves with a sharp knife.  Scoop out the juicy pulp with a spoon, and discard the tough inedible skin.  

The pulp can be enjoyed as a drink.
Add to a fruit salad for a distinct flavor.
Use in the preparation of sauces, jellies, and syrups.
Employ in recipes like passion fruit mousse, ice cream, pizza, desserts, cakes, mousse etc.

So..... Eat up!  Enjoy!  I'll show you how.







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