Also known as:
Passiflora, grenadilla, maracuja, maracuya
Passion fruit is an ovoid shape fruit which gives a juice with a very strong exotic flavor and a bright orange colour, found in many tropical and sub-tropical countries. The passion fruit is a vigorous, climbing vine that clings by tendrils to almost any support. The nearly round or ovoid fruit, 1-1/2 to 3 inches wide, has a tough rind that is smooth and waxy and ranging in hue from dark purple with faint, fine white specks, to light yellow or pumpkin-color. Within is a cavity more or less filled with an aromatic mass of double walled, membranous sacs containing orange-colored, pulpy juice and as many as 250 small, hard, dark brown or black, pitted seeds. The unique flavour is appealing, musky, guava-like and sweet/tart to tart.
Commonly used in:
flavoring drinks, confectionery, icing, cakes and ice-cream, salads, curds, desserts, cakes, puddings, souffle, shortbread cookies etc.
Among other things, passion fruit is known for its various health benefits due to its rich constituents of Vitamin C, A, iron, and potassium. The seeds are edible and are an excellent source of fibe and the juice but mainly the leaves of passion fruit contain the alkaloids, including Harman, which has blood pressure lowering, sedative and antispasmodic action. Passion flower has been used in the treatment of nervous and easily excited children, bronchial asthma, insomnia, nervous gastrointestinal disorders and menopausal problems.