It’s clear that we here at FruitStand are passionate about fruit, but how much fruit passion do we have for passion fruit?
Let us count the ways…
Indeed, there are many reasons to love passion fruit – 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, passion fruit 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 passion fruit, 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 passion fruit’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 passion fruit build quite a devoted following, and, thankfully, farmers everywhere have heard the call, developing a number of different types of passion fruits to give the people what they want.
Arguably the world’s most popular type of passion fruit, purple passion fruits actually start out green before maturing to their namesake hue when ripe.
These types of passion fruits do better with a bit of altitude below them, and may also be considered the healthiest type of passion fruit, due to their boosted nutrient count—which includes vitamin C, several B vitamins and healthy amounts of iron.
Some types of purple passion fruits people love to love include:
Granadilla: The most popular type of passion fruit 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 it's ready to be eaten.
Misty Gems: Some say this cultivar is the most delicious passion fruit of all, truly making Misty Gems the passion fruit 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 passion fruit 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 passion fruit is the hardiest of all, with a lower susceptibility toward pests and diseases.
A slightly higher acidity count also makes yellow passion fruits more commonly used for juicing, despite the fact that purple passion fruits typically produce more juice. Talk about a passion for giving back!
Some of the most popular yellow passion fruits include:
Maracuya: A typically Brazilian-grown cultivar, this passion fruit variety is larger—and yellower—than most other varietals in its fruity family.
Banana passion fruit: Named for its shape as much as its color, this type of passion fruit 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 passion fruit varietals – though the Yee Selection proves that less can sometimes be more, yielding a lower amount of juice than many other passion fruits.
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 passion fruit cousins.
A relatively new development in the passion fruit world, these cultivars prove that good things are worth the wait.
Many growers argue that sweet passion fruits are the best-tasting of all, and they’re quickly becoming one of the most popular types of passion fruits 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 passion fruits 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 passion fruit.
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.