If there was ever the incarnation of fruit heaven for me it would be the Passion Fruit. Its name alone conjures up images of the unusual and complex fruit that it truly is. The fruit gets its sultry name from Spanish missionaries who encountered it on their arrival to the Americas. Its flower reminded them of “Christ’s Passion for humanity”.
For me, the sheer power of this fruit is all about its complex flavor. Hundreds of dark speckled seeds are coddled in a flavor packed gel that is both sweet and brightly citrus toned. Clean. Tart. Sweet. Sour. Subtle. And pure Passion!
I am passionate for Passion Fruit! It finds its way into my curds, drinks (Contessa Passion Fruit and Lime Sweet Tea), and desserts (Baked St. Croix). It is such a versatile fruit that it can stand its own in every imaginable way. When breaking open a Passion Fruit, what jars you is not the other-worldly looking gelatinous seeds, or the small white tentacles holding it all in place inside. What hits you is the aroma. There are two types of passion fruits I have eaten, the bright yellow and the dark pink.
I love both kinds, but truly prefer the dark pink. The flavor of the dark pink passion fruit is so sweet and subtle. And you smell it way before you taste it. It is like nature’s perfume. The more common yellow passion fruit is also a flavor power house. It’s a bit more tart than its pink cousin. Bolder. But no less awesome!
When the vines erupt at once with passion fruit, I gather them up and empty the pulp into a container and freeze them for future use. They are just as good thawed.
If you have never had a passion fruit straight off the vine, then you should definitely start packing and come visit the island to try one. If your traveling shoes are a bit dusty, you can find the 100% pulp in the refrigerator section of your grocery store just to get an idea of what it tastes like. It will not be the same. But you will have a solid sense of why this fruit is so intensely passion-filled!