It’s clear that we here at FruitStand are passionate about fruit, but how much fruit passion do we have for passionfruit?
Let us count the ways…
Gotta Love It
Indeed, there are many reasons to love passionfruit – also called lilikoi in its adopted native land of Hawaii, and Passiflora in Latin, the mother of all romance languages.
First is the flower. (And really, what’s more romantic than a bouquet?)
One of the most beautiful and unique in the fruit world, passionfruit flowers have a mandala-like shape with white and purple peddles that pop out of five brilliantly green-yellow stamen and are surrounded by a circle of faerie-like tendrils – truly enough to inspire devotion in any plant lover.
And the fruit itself knows how to keep it dramatic.
While you’d be hard-pressed to draw much inspiration from the thick-skinned, bumpy, yellow, green or purple outside of a passionfruit, cutting into one is a big reveal of color, aroma and texture. A burst of edible seeds are clustered in the center, swimming in a flesh that looks like vibrant yellow-orange jell-o.
And that’s to say nothing of passionfruit’s taste, which is sweet, tropical and studded with yummy pops of crunchy seeds. (And the perfect compliment for jellies and jams.)
It’s all helped passionfruit build quite a devoted following, and, thankfully, farmers everywhere have heard the call, developing a number of different types of passionfruits to give the people what they want.
Arguably the world’s most popular type of passionfruit, purple passionfruits actually start out green before maturing to their namesake hue when ripe.
These types of passionfruits do better with a bit of altitude below them, and may also be considered the healthiest type of passionfruit, due to their boosted nutrient count—which includes vitamin C, several B vitamins and healthy amounts of iron.
Some types of purple passionfruits people love to love include:
Granadilla: The most popular type of passionfruit in Europe, this varietal is no larger than an egg – but much nicer to look at, with a deep violet color when fully ripe. The fruit will also wrinkle when its ready to be eaten.
Misty Gems: Some say this cultivar is the most delicious passionfruit of all, truly making Tasty Gems the passionfruit crown jewels. Inside, their flesh is an orangey-yellow, with a tangy taste that almost recalls guava.
Common Purple: First developed in Hawaii, this thick-skinned passionfruit varietal has a smaller seed yield than most—but a particularly nice flavor, thanks to its low acidity count. We’d call that anything but common.
Larger than their purple siblings—thanks, in part, to a thicker, stronger vine to sprout from—this class of passionfruit is the hardiest of all, with a lower susceptibility toward pests and diseases.
A slightly higher acidity count also makes yellow passionfruits more commonly used for juicing, despite the fact that purple passionfruits typically produce more juice. Talk about a passion for giving back!
Some of the most popular yellow passionfruits include:
Maracuya: A typically Brazilian-grown cultivar, this passionfruit variety is larger—and yellower—than most other varietals in its fruity family.
Banana passionfruit: Named for its shape as much as its color, this type of passionfruit is longer, and more oblong, than the others, with a sweet flavor that leaves a slightly acidic aftertaste.
Yee Selection: First developed in Hawaii, this is one of the more flavorful yellow passionfruit varietals – though the Yee Selection proves that less can sometimes be more, yielding a lower amount of juice than many other passionfruits.
Sevcik Selection: Besides being particularly tricky to pronounce, this cultivar is just a bit peculiar in general, with a flavor that reads almost slightly woody, compared to its typically much sweeter passionfruit cousins.
A relatively new development in the passionfruit world, these cultivars prove that good things are worth the wait.
Many growers argue that sweet passionfruits are the best-tasting of all, and they’re quickly becoming one of the most popular types of passionfruits out there. And thankfully, they’re easy to spot among the crowd, with a unique color story that sees the fruit start out blue and turn to orange as it ripens, revealing a white—and exceptionally sweet-smelling—flesh inside.
Finally, for those who can’t get enough passion in their life, there’s this varietal, which lives up to its name, typically reaching over one foot in diameter.
Giant passionfruits are slower growing and, for the most part, lack the powerful punch of taste delivered by their smaller siblings. But that doesn’t make them any less worthy of your time.
Indeed, taking a spoon to any of these fruits may be a solid personal move: legend has it that you’ll fall in love with the first person you see after eating a passionfruit.
But, as far as we’re concerned, if you’re enjoying any one of these tropical varieties, it’s clear you at least already love yourself.