Ingredient Spotlight: Passion Fruit

Have you ever had fresh passion fruit? Make no mistake: delicious treasure hides beneath the skin of these unlikely-looking purple orbs. We don't often see them in US markets, and we snap them up when we do. Here's how to pick the best ones.
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Passion fruits are native to Brazil and surrounding areas of South America, but are now primarily grown in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Florida, and California. The fruits have different peak growing seasons in each location. Right now, fruits from Australia and New Zealand are in season. Look for Hawaiian fruits later this summer.

Most passion fruit arrive at stores still under-ripe. They start off smooth-skinned and green, and gradually grow wrinkly and purple as they mature. Fully ripe passion fruits start looking pretty prune-ish! Pick fruits that feel heavy for their size, and don't worry if the outside looks pretty beaten up. Passion fruits have a thick rind, so the inside fruits are undamaged even if the outside has dents and marks.

Unripe passion fruits can be stored at room temperature until they start to wrinkle. Eat them right away or transfer them to the refrigerator for longer storage.

One of the best ways to eat passion fruit, especially if you've never had one before, is to split it along its equator and just scoop out the seeds with a spoon. They're also fantastic stirred into yogurt, made into a smoothie, or spooned over ice cream. If you don't like the seeds, you can strain them out and just use the pulp.

Do you love passion fruits? What do you like to do with them?

Related: How to Open a Durian Fruit

(Images used with permission by Elizabeth Gibson)

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