If it weren’t for my honeymoon in Costa Rica, passion fruit and I may have never met face to face which would have been a complete tragedy considering it is likely the best fruit I have ever eaten.
When we arrived in our hotel room there was a very generous fruit tray awaiting us. I will never forget how my husband’s eyes lit up when he saw the oversized, wrinkly prune. When he cut into the rind and began to slurp up the orange, gooey pulp I seriously doubted that this vacation fruit was meant to be edible. A fruit that is just juice and seeds? Really? With a little nudge I broke and decided to give the strange fruit a try and within seconds I became passionate about passion fruit. It is one of the most intense and enticing fruits out there!
From there, the rest of my culinary Costa Rica experience is history because passion fruit pretty much owned my life. My breakfast would consist of the usual Costa Rican fare: rice, beans and eggs and then 10 passion fruits. Huge apologies to the rest of the guests who were staying at the Flamingo Resort in Guanacaste…you were lucky to have tasted a passion fruit since I hoarded them all.
If you have the unfortunate luck of never tasting a passion fruit let me tell you a little about what to expect. Passion fruits are a happy mix of sweet and tart with a flavor similar to a combination of guava, pineapple and lemon. The fruit has little black seeds enclosed in the “fruit sack” that are chewable and bring an unexpected crunch to the otherwise juicy fruit. Think of it like a pomegranate but without all the annoying white separation. One of my favorite ways to enjoy the orange-yellow pulp is straight from the shell. Open, slurp and enjoy. The passion fruit may not be the most attractive fruit out there, but do not be startled by the slimy insides because it is a true treasure.
I wish I could have smuggled home a few barrels full of my favorite vacation fruit, but I think that US customs would have frowned upon that. Sigh. Luckily Chobani must have heard my silent pleas because when the passion fruit Cho hit the shelves I screamed with joy. A trip to Costa Rica can happen every day. Awesome.
One passion fruit contains only 17 calories and is a reservoir of vitamin A and C. The tropical fruit is also a high source of fiber, potassium, iron and calcium. Some studies have shown that passion fruit juice has a relaxing affect because of its somniferous properties. Perhaps this is why locals of tropical places are so cool and calm all the time. I’d definitely opt for a cup of passion fruit juice over a warm cup of milk to get me drifting into an island-induced slumber.
The biggest problem that you will have once you get your hands on the tropical fruit is keeping enough in the house to actually make something with them. Once you open the odd-looking orb it is difficult to not scoop the insides straight into your mouth. But if you do have the willpower to hold off, you can make some delicious eats. Here are some to get you started:
- Your guests will be doing somersaults at your next BBQ if you prepare them this passion fruit and basil chutney (via Tablespoon)
- Eating passion fruit is cause for celebration. You’ll see what I mean with these passion fruit cupcakes (via Angry Cherry)
- It doesn’t get much better than a passion fruit sorbet on a warm summer day (via Savory Simple)
- Sweeten up your couscous staple with this coconut and passion fruit couscous recipe (via Suite 101)
- If you haven’t tasted a passion fruit mocktail you are really missing out. Make it your summer mission to try this passion fruit drink. You can add vodka or gin to make it adult friendly or consider blending the mixture for a delectable smoothie (via Green Kitchen Stories)
Passion fruit, of course, is in season RIGHT NOW so be on the lookout at your markets and grocery stores for this tropical treat.
Do you love passion fruit? What is your favorite way to eat them?
Feature photo courtesy of pelican via Flickr (CC BY-SA 3.0)