Passiflora edulis is a vine species of passion flower that is native to Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina. Its common names include passion fruit (US), passionfruit (UK and Commonwealth), and purple granadilla (South Africa).
The passion fruit is round to oval, either yellow or dark purple at maturity, with a soft to firm, juicy interior filled with numerous seeds. The fruit is both eaten and juiced; passion fruit juice is often added to other fruit juices to enhance aroma.
Several distinct varieties of passion fruit with clearly differing exterior appearances exist. The bright yellow flavicarpa variety, also known as the Golden Passion Fruit, can grow up to the size of a grapefruit, has a smooth, glossy, light and airy rind, and has been used as a rootstock for the Purple Passion Fruit in Australia. The dark purple edulis variety is smaller than a lemon, though it is less acidic than the yellow passion fruit, and has a richer aroma and flavour.
Across the world, passion fruit has a variety of uses related to its appealing taste as a whole fruit and juice.
In Australia and New Zealand, where it is called "passionfruit", it is available commercially both fresh and tinned. It is added to fruit salads, and fresh fruit pulp or passion fruit sauce is commonly used in desserts, including as a topping for pavlova (a regional meringue cake) and ice cream, a flavouring for cheesecake, and in the icing of vanilla slices. A passionfruit-flavoured soft drink called Passiona has also been manufactured in Australia since the 1920s.
In Brazil, the term maracujá applies to passion fruit (maracujá azedo, or "sour") and granadillo (maracujá doce, or "sweet"). Passion fruit mousse is a common dessert, and passion fruit pulp is routinely used to decorate the tops of cakes. Passion fruit juice, ice pops and more recently soft drinks are also very popular. When making caipirinha, it is usual to use passion fruit instead of lime; it is then called maracujá. It is used also as a mild sedative, and its active ingredient is commercialized under several brands, most notably Maracugina.
In Colombia, it is one of the most important fruits, especially for juices and desserts. It is widely available all over the country and three kinds of "maracuyá" fruit may be found.
In Indonesia, there are two types of passionfruit (local name: markisa), white flesh and yellow flesh. The white one is normally eaten straight as a fruit, while the yellow variety is commonly strained to obtain its juice, which is cooked with sugar to make thick syrup. Bottles or plastic jugs of concentrated syrup (generally produced in Sumatra from fruit grown in the Lake Toba region) are sold in many supermarkets. Dilution of one part syrup to four (or more) parts water is recommended.
In Paraguay, passion fruit is used principally for its juice, to prepare desserts such as passion fruit mousse, cheesecake, ice cream, and to flavour yogurts and cocktails.
In Peru, passion fruit is used in several desserts, especially cheesecakes. Passion fruit juice is also drunk on its own and is used in ceviche variations and in cocktails, including the Maracuyá Sour, a variation of the Pisco Sour.
In the Philippines, passion fruit is commonly sold in public markets and in public schools. Some vendors sell the fruit with a straw to enable sucking out the seeds and juices inside. It is not very popular because of its sour flavour, and the fruit is very seasonal.
In Puerto Rico, where the fruit is known as "parcha", it is used in juices, ice cream or pastries.
In South Africa, passion fruit, known locally as Granadilla (the yellow variety as Guavadilla), is used to flavour yogurt. It is also used to flavour soft drinks such as Schweppes' "Sparkling Granadilla" and numerous cordial drinks. It is often eaten raw or used as a topping for cakes and tarts. Granadilla juice is commonly available in restaurants. The yellow variety is used for juice processing, while the purple variety is sold in fresh-fruit markets.
In Sri Lanka, passion fruit juice, along with faluda, is one of the most popular refreshments. Passion fruit cordial is manufactured both at home as well as industrially by mixing the pulp with sugar. There are many cordial manufacturers, suppliers and exporters in the country.
In Hawaii, passion fruit is called lilikoi and comes in yellow and purple varieties.
Passion fruit can be cut in half and the seeds scooped out with a spoon. Lilikoi-flavoured syrup is a popular topping for shave ice. It is used as a dessert flavouring for malasadas, cheesecakes, cookies, ice cream and mochi. Passion fruit is also favoured as a jam or jelly, as well as a butter. Lilikoi syrup can also be used to glaze or marinade meat and vegetables. Most passion fruit comes from backyard gardens or is collected from the wild. While it may be found at farmers' markets throughout the islands, fruits are seldom sold in grocery stores.
In Vietnam, passion fruit is blended with honey and ice to create refreshing smoothies.
In Cambodia, passion fruit is called "machu bey-darch", and the plant vine grows in the wild. Bushes hang with green to yellow round fruits, measuring from 2.5 cm to 4 cm when ripe. This wild variety of passion fruit tastes slightly different but is still quite sour.
In India, the government of Andhra Pradesh started growing passion fruits in the Chintapalli (Vizag) region forests to make them available to the local people. The fruit is found in the jungles of Assam and is known to local people as "lota bel".
In Costa Rica, it is known as "Estococa". The fruit grows in the wild and it is commonly used for juice. It is considerably smaller than the Maracuyá.
Passion fruit flower - the national flower of Paraguay
The passion fruit is so called because it is one of the many species of passion flower, leading to the English translation of the Latin genus name, Passiflora. The name was given by Spanish missionaries to South America as an expository aid while trying to convert the indigenous inhabitants to Christianity.