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Although the name “passion fruit” seems to indicate a fruit that can induce an aphrodisiac response through its consumption, the name actually has religious connotations. Acquiring its moniker from Spanish missionaries who believed that the plant’s flower resembled different religious symbols, passion fruit is a native of the rain forest margins in the Amazon region of Brazil.1 There are many species of the fruit grown worldwide, with New Zealand passion fruit being purple and the Hawaiian variety yellow.2
In the kitchen
This egg-shaped tropical fruit has a brittle, wrinkled, inedible rind that encloses flesh-covered seeds, similar to a pomegranate. The seeds are edible, so the pulp can be eaten straight from the shell. It also can be sieved, with the pulp and juice used as flavoring for sauces and beverages. An excellent source of vitamins A and C, the fruit has an intense, aromatic flavor and the pulp has a jellylike watery texture. To eat, cut the fruit in half and scoop out the fleshy pulp.2
Spa cuisine chefs have been mining the riches of this tropical treat for years, with or without the seeds, using it to add a special zest to a variety of dressings, sauces and desserts, including the following:
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