An egg-shaped tropical fruit that is also called a purple granadilla, the passion fruit has a brittle, wrinkled purple-brown rind enclosing flesh-covered seeds, something like a pomegranate (granadilla means "little pomegranate" in Spanish). The seeds are edible so you can eat the orange pulp straight from the shell. Passion fruit is more commonly sieved and its highly aromatic pulp and juice are used as a flavoring for beverages and sauces. The pulp has an intense aromatic flavor, while the texture is jelly-like and watery. The flavor is likened to guava.
Native to Brazil, passion fruits are grown in Hawaii, Florida, and California. These crops, along with imports from New Zealand, keep passion fruit on the market all year.
Choose large, heavy, firm fruit. When ripe, it has wrinkled, dimpled, deep purple skin. Skin is old-looking, but does not mean the fruit is rotten. Mold does not affect quality and can be wiped off. Fruit color is green when they are immature, changing to shades of purple, red or yellow as they ripen. Leave at room temperature to ripen. The skin will wrinkle, but the fruit will not soften much. Once ripe, store in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
Passion Fruit is generally eaten fresh but may be cooked for use in sauces and fillings. Begin by cutting the fruit in half and scooping out the fleshy pulp with a spoon. Spoon the pulp over ice cream or other soft fruits. The pulp makes a delicious jam or jelly and the seeds add a unique crunchy texture. To remove seeds: Strain in a non-aluminum sieve, or use cheesecloth, squeezing to extract the juice.