The passion flowers and their fruits
Most of the more than 530 subspecies from the genus of passion flowers (Passiflora) grow with climbing tendrils that lignify to various degrees of wood into shrubs and trees. Most of the varieties of passion fruit are native to South and North America, but there are also some species with ancestry from Australia and remote locations such as Madagascar. The name, reminiscent of the Passion of Christ, was given to the plants with their characteristic flowers at the time of the missionary work in South America, when missionaries believed they recognized symbols for the Passion of Christ in the various parts of the flowers. While the fruits of cultivars popular because of their flowers, such as those from the subgenus Decaloba, can be inedible or even poisonous,Most passion fruit varieties are very popular as fresh fruit and fruit juice.
- The blossom of the passion fruit
- This is how you can tell when a passion fruit is ripe
- The origin of the passion fruit
The passion fruit with a purple skin
The fruits that are mostly sold under the name passion fruit in this country are usually fruits of the plant genus of the so-called purple granadilla. This resembles an egg in shape and size, but has a smooth and shiny purple shell. From a botanical point of view, they are berries, but actually only the content of the cut fruit, consisting of seeds and adherent pulp, is eaten. It is often said that a very wrinkled skin on the purple colored passion fruit would indicate the optimal degree of ripeness. But you can also consume a passion fruit with smooth skin without any problems, this will only have a slightly more sour taste than strongly wrinkled and therefore more advanced in the ripening fruit.
The passion fruit or granadilla
For decades, many juice bottles have shown a sliced passion fruit with a purple skin next to the name Maracuja on the label. Actually, this is not entirely correct, as passion fruit is usually referred to as passion fruit, which is yellow to orange in color. Even in the advanced state of ripening, these have a relatively pressure-resistant shell, but they are otherwise not dissimilar in shape and size to the purple-colored representatives of the species. The yellow granadilla is sometimes a bit larger and its taste is often not quite comparable with the purple colored fruits of the Passiflora edulis. This is why these are rarely offered in stores as fresh fruit and are much more often found in the juicer.
The difference in taste between passion fruit and maracuja
Basically, the taste difference between the fruits of both subspecies of passion flowers is not very great, even if they are not exactly the same. However, the principle that the seeds and pulp are eaten together and usually with a spoon is the same for both types. Other possible uses are:
- as a fruit garnish for sundae
- as a fruit for cakes like Pavlova
- as a pureed ingredient for smoothies
Tips & Tricks
In the trade, passion fruit and maracuja are often offered alternately under both names. Both types are basically equally suitable for direct consumption and processing in the kitchen.