Passion Fruit: The Taste of Love

Passion fruit, or Granadilla in Spanish, is a sweet and tart fruit which has major health benefits for the body. The fruit secretes growth hormones that ensure optimum growth. It is believed that this wild tropical fruit originated from Paraguay, and is native to subtropical wild regions of South America. So why is it called “Passion Fruit”?

It is said that the Passion Fruit was named by the 16th century Spanish Catholic Missionaries in the Amazon region of Brazil. They called it “Flor Passionis” (passion flower) or “Flor De Las Cinco Llagas” (flower of the five wounds) after its purple flower which they believed resembled the five wounds of Christ.

Passion Fruit Flower

Passion Fruit Flower

Passion fruit features round to oval shape, 4 to 8 centimeters in diameter, have a tough outer shell (rind) as that of in mangosteen. Average weight is about 35-50 g. Its plant is an avid climber, in other words, belonging to the vine family, which grows on anything that it can grapple around through its tendrils.

The color inside a passion fruit is light orange, which is the color of the pulpy juice which contains numerous small, hard, dark-brown or black, pitted seeds. The 2 most common kinds of this fruit are the yellow passions, which are generally larger than the second type, the purple varieties. Nonetheless, the pulp of the purple fruit is less acidic, richer in aroma and flavor, and has a higher proportion of juicy pulp. 100 g fruit contains about 97 calories.

Passion Fruit

Passion Fruit

Health benefits of Passion Fruit

  • Rich in taste and flavor, it’s delicious! It is also a great source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. 
  • The fruit is a very good source of dietary fiber that helps remove cholesterol from the body.
  • Passion fruit is high in vitamin C. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C help the body develop resistance against flu-like infectious agents.
  • A very good source of vitamin A, a vitamin essential for good eye-sight. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin.
  • Rich in potassium, an important component of cells and body fluids, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Furthermore, it is a very good source of minerals. Iron, copper, magnesium and phosphorus are present in adequate amounts in the fruit.

In order to serve this fruit, here are some simple steps and tips for preparation and serving: wash fruit in cold water, then dry them using a soft cloth or paper. Cut the fruit lengthwise into two equal halves. Then, scoop out the juicy pulp with a spoon. Discard the tough shell. 

Passion fruit can be enjoyed fresh, especially when the fruit is well-ripened. Their juicy pulp can also be enjoyed as a refreshing drink. Moreover, passion fruit adds distinct flavor to fruit salads. They are also used in the preparation of sauces, jellies, and syrups. In addition, it is employed in various recipes like passion fruit mousse, ice-cream, pizza, desserts, cakes, and more.

Passion fruit is used in different cuisines from all around the world, like Asian, Spanish, Colombian, Latin, and Moroccan. Why not have one of our chefs help you make good use of this rare, delicious fruit? Chef Hanane is our Moroccan chef in Beirut who adds different types of fruits to almost all of her cuisines, to create her perfect menus. You could also try our Spanish Chef Daniel who will be in Beirut later this month for one week only, to teach you more about its uses and some recipes! Hope you enjoy this one!

Griddled Turbot with Passion Fruit and Celery Salsa
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  1. 125g/4½oz couscous
  2. 160ml/5½fl oz tepid water
  3. ¾ tsp salt
  4. 225g/8oz cauliflower florets
  5. large handful fresh mint leaves
  6. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  7. salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. 1 small red onion, thinly sliced and rinsed in cold water
  2. 1 celery stick, chopped
  3. 1 clementine or satsuma, juice only
  4. 2 passion fruit, seeds and juice
  5. handful fresh flatleaf parsley, stalks left on, chopped
  6. large handful walnuts, shelled, lightly toasted, chopped
  7. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  8. 1 tsp soy sauce
  9. salt and freshly ground black pepper
  10. 2 handfuls watercress or wild rocket, to serve
  1. 4 x 150g/5½oz skinless, boneless turbot fillets
  2. salt and freshly ground black pepper
  3. 1 tbsp olive oil
For the couscous
  1. Place the couscous into a bowl with the tepid water and salt and leave it to absorb the water.
  2. Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the cauliflower for 3-4 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Alternately, you can steam it. Drain the cauliflower in a colander and immediately transfer to a large bowl of iced water for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Drain again, then place into a food processor with the mint leaves and olive oil and pulse until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs.
  4. Mix the cauliflower mixture into the couscous and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. The couscous will keep covered in the fridge for a day.
For the salsa
  1. Place the onion and celery into a bowl with the citrus juice and the passion fruit seeds and juice and leave to one side.
For the griddled turbot
  1. Lightly season the fish on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with the olive oil.
  2. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat and cook the fish for 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the fillet, until cooked through. Alternatively, cook under the grill.
  3. Meanwhile, add the parsley and walnuts to the salsa, along with the extra virgin olive oil and soy sauce. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well.
To serve
  1. Place some of the couscous into the centre of each plate and lay some of the watercress or rocket on top. Place a fillet of fish on top, along with any pan juices, and spoon over the salsa.
Adapted from Saturday Kitchen
Adapted from Saturday Kitchen