Taste Test: Passion fruit


Passion fruit has quickly made its way up to the top of my favorite-fruits-to-eat-raw list. Inside the semi-hard yellow shell is a swarm of gooey seeds reminiscent of tadpole eggs; the best way to eat it is to cut it in half and spoon out the insides. When ripe, it's incredibly sweet and tropical and refreshing. I wish somebody would hand me a giant jar of it so I could devour it like apple sauce.

The name "passion fruit" actually comes from Catholic missionaries in South America who believed the fruit was a symbol of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is, however, a fruit with many names — its official name is passiflora edulis, but it's also known as maracuja, grenadilla, and liliko'i, depending on what part of the world you're in.

Passion fruit has tons of Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, and is consumed in many different countries for its health benefits. Some believe it lowers blood pressure; others use it as a mild sedative. There's a purple varietal, too, which is usually smaller than its yellow cousin. I'm not sure how different they taste — has anyone tried both and compared the two?

I don't have a recipe for you today, but my aunt Linda in Hawaii makes a killer liliko'i jam. I'll ask her for it next time I see her and post an update.

Every installment of Taste Test will explore recipes, the science, and some history behind a specific food item.
Image via Vic Lic's Flickr