Passion Fruit ~ Maracujá

Photos by Priscillakittycat

Photos by Priscillakittycat

Maracuja Flower 1 Maracuja Vine 1

There are a few reasons why I love Passion Fruit.  First, the flower that gives rise to the fruit is beautiful.  The flower emits a lovely aroma and attracts bees, butterflies and wasps who spread its pollen. The origin of passion fruit is unknown but it is believed to be native of Brasil where 16th century Spanish catholics called it “flor de las cinco llagas”.  They believed that the flower symbolized the death of Christ (Passion of Christ), hence the name Passion Fruit; the five petals represented the disciples (minus Peter and Judas), the corona symbolizes the crown of horns around Christ’s head, and other features were a symbol of the wounds, nails, and whips used on Christ.

I also love passion fruit for its tangy and sweet taste and the soft texture of the pulp.  Some varieties of passion fruit are very tangy.  It depends on the color of the fruit.  When the pulp is tangy, you can add some sugar and water…and it makes for a great and nutritious juice.

Desserts made with passion fruit are so pretty because the color of the pulp really stands out.  In a very ripe yellow passion fruit, the pulp has a bright yellow-orange color. The tangy taste goes very will with chocolate, especially dark and Belgian chocolate.

The nutritional value of Passion Fruit is impressive.  It is loaded with polyphenols which prevent cardiovascular disease.  The pulp is high in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and carotenoids (vitamin A).  Fiber is also a huge component of Passion Fruit.

Last but not least, Passion Fruit has a calming effect.  It is a natural way to relax the body and mind.

The photos you see are from the passion fruit vines I planted here at home.  You can never have enough passion fruit!