Here’s everything you need to know about Passion Fruit (also called lilikoi fruit). What is Passion Fruit? When are they in season? How do you buy them, store them, cut them and eat them? Can you eat passion fruit seeds?
There’s many reasons to love this exotic lilikoi fruit. It’s tropical, sweet, tangy and studded with crispy seeds incased in a vibrant yellow-orange jello-like pulp. The pulp is used to add flavoring to desserts, cake toppings, juices, syrups and salad dressings, or freeze the pulp and blend with your favorite smoothies for an exotic twist.
What Is Passion Fruit
Passion Fruit (also called purple granadilla) is an oval shaped tropical fruit from the Passiflora vine. It has a hard purplish-brown rind with a gelatinous pulp surrounding tart seeds (similar to pomegranates). The word granadill actually means “little pomegranate” in Spanish. Passion fruit is native to Brazil, but today they’re grown around the world. In the United States, they’re mostly grown in Florida, California and Hawaii.
When Are Passion Fruit Ripe
Choose large heavy fruit with wrinkled skin. The deep wrinkles let you know it’s ripe. If the skin is smooth, keep the fruit at room temperature for a few days until it ripens and becomes wrinkled. The outer rind will not soften much even when ripened. Ripe fruit can be kept in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a month. Ripe fruit can also be frozen. Just spoon the pulp into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid. Then transfer to an air-tight freezer bag.
Passion Fruit Season
Lilikoi is grown all over the world, so you’ll typically find it in the markets all year long.
How To Eat Passion Fruit
Even though it’s an exotic fruit, there’s no mystery to eating it. One piece of fruit will provide 1-2 tablespoons of flesh.
- Rinse under water to remove any dirt and debris.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the rind in half to expose the gelatinous flesh and seeds. Alternatively you can just cut the very top off (like a hard-boiled egg) and scoop out the flesh and seeds of the whole fruit.
- Using a spoon scoop out the flesh and seeds, avoiding the white part which is bitter tasting.
- If you need the puree for a recipe, then press the flesh and seeds through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl or glass measuring cup to collect the puree, or add the pulp (seeds and all) to a blender. Add a little water (just a few tablespoons) and pulse a few times, then strain through a fine mesh sieve to separate the puree from the seeds.
What Do They Taste Like
The pulp has an exotic fragrance with a tropical-citrus sweet and slightly tart flavor.
Can You Eat Passion Fruit Seeds
Passion fruit seeds are edible and can be eaten with the pulp. They’re bitter tasting, but rich with fiber.