If you’re a fruit lover then you’ve probably heard of passion fruit by now. And if you’ve never tasted it, then you may be wondering what passion fruit tastes like.
Given its name you could expect it to be all kinds of flavors, and rightly so. Passion fruit does sound like a very flavorful, exotic fruit and that’s exactly what it is.
So let’s explore together just what passion fruit tastes like, and how to pick a ripe one so you’re not disappointed.
What does passion fruit taste like ?
Passion fruit tastes fruity and tart, much like a cross between a peach, mango, and pineapple. It’s both sweet and tart, mostly tart if you don’t get a very ripe one.
The fruit’s seeds and pulp are edible, and you’ll often find it in syrup form.
Originally from Brazil, the passion fruit is now a very sought after fruit in the Americas and in Asia. It’s intensely cultivated in Hawaii, Australia, South Africa, and much of South America.
What does passion fruit smell like?
Passion fruit also has a very strong scent, which makes it seem even more fresh and sweet. It has a bit of a citrusy sweet smell that will make you want to buy it.
We will talk later in this article about the smell and why is one of the most important things you have to check when you want to buy a good passion fruit.
Is passion fruit tasty ?
Yes, passion fruit is tasty as it provides just the right amount of zing to go with its sweetness. You’ll find it in many desserts, ice creams, pies, cocktails, syrups and so much more.
While passion fruit is a tropical fruit, it’s actually one of the most flavorful ones. True, there are tropical fruits that don’t taste very strongly like dragon fruit or star fruit, but passion fruit is different.
Commercial passion fruit may be disappointing
When out and about and ready to buy a whole bag of passion fruit, be careful. The commercial passion fruit you may encounter will be different than local passion fruit.
What we mean by this is that passion fruit is always imported in America and Europe, since it doesn’t grow very well there.
This means the fruit needs to be harvested while still underripe, so it’s out of season. It ripens during transport, but the final flavor will never be as good as local, fresh passion fruit.
Just like bananas, dragon fruit, star fruit, pineapple and pretty much any tropical fruit, it’s hard to find a nice ripe one without leaving your country.
How to know when passion fruit is ripe
Let’s take a look at when passion fruit is ripe, so you know what to look for. Despite commercial passion fruit being a little iffy, you can still find some great ones if you know what to look for.
So, a perfectly ripe and delicious passion fruit will:
- have a possibly dimpled skin, as it dries out a little and the sugars develop
- be soft like a ripe avocado, if it’s too firm it’s not ripe yet
- gold skinned ones should have no tinge of green at all
- purple skinned ones will be a really dark, deep purple
Keep in mind that you will most likely not find perfectly ripe passion fruit for sale. They’re almost always sold underripe and you’ll have to keep them on the counter for a few days.
Depending on the degree of ripeness they already have, they may take anywhere from a day to a full week to ripen and soften.
Don’t let them ripen too much though, since they can and will get mushy if you forget about them.
Overripe passion fruit is very soft, and may develop a cracked skin. You may see discolorations and sense a really strong, sour smell coming from them.
How do you eat passion fruit ?
Once your passionfruit is perfectly ripe and ready to eat, they’re actually pretty easy to eat. It depends on what you want to do with them, really.
One of the most common ways is to eat them as-is. Just like you would with wikis, cut the fruit in halves, get a teaspoon, and scoop the seeds out. Everything that is inside the passion fruit is edible, seeds and pulp.
The rind not so much, but it serves as a very good bowl.
Another way is to juice the inside of passion fruit, and use it in smoothies, cocktails, or make a syrup out of them with sugar and any other fruits you might like.
You can also ‘season’ a dessert with passion fruit seeds, like some folks use pomegranate seeds or chocolate shavings.
Passion fruit lends itself very well to creamy, rich desserts because it can cut right through all that creaminess and lift the entire flavor. So it would go great on cheesecake, or vanilla ice cream, or any white chocolate mousse.
What can you substitute passion fruit for ?
If you don’t have any passion fruit there are a few ways to substitute it. Granted, the flavor won’t be the same but it will be somewhat similar.
Kiwi, pineapple, and guava pulp are your best candidates. The pineapple may be a little sweet, but you can always add the slightest bit of lemon juice to tone it down a little.
In terms of color you’d need something yellow-orange, so either throw in some peach for color or use a tiny bit of food coloring.
There really is no ideal passion fruit substitute since it’s such a different fruit. Still, it may happen that you need a substitute and we hope you remember these three ideas.
In short, passion fruit tastes amazing on its own and may be pared with just about anything in terms of fruit and flavorings. We really recommend making lemonade with some crushed passionfruit juice, to get that summery tropical vibe going.
It’s going to impress you, the guests, and possibly the neighbors too !