Get Your Passion On

The words “passion fruit” suggest a steamy tropical tryst, but the name actually has religious origins. Spanish missionaries venturing into South America happened upon 20- to 30-foot-long climbing vines sprouting flowers with parts that resembled elements of Christ’s Passion: the flowers resembled a crown of thorns and the fruits recalled Christ’s wounds. ¶ The fruit vary in color from purple to yellow-orange, and in size from egg to tennis ball to melon. (Not technical terms.) A protective rind a quarter-inch thick covers a mass of edible black seeds and an aromatic, gelatinous, greenish-yellow pulp. Native to southern Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina, the passion fruit’s exact origins are unknown, but the fruit is now cultivated worldwide. When purchasing passion fruit look for heavy fruit that are wrinkled, dimpled and have unbruised skin. It brings a highly fragrant, sweet flavor to dishes, but remember to strain the pulp to remove the seeds.

michael isenbek

Michael Isenbek, Associate Editor, dabbles in both fiction and nonfiction writing, coordinates the Pulse event listings and writes the text for "Zoom," among other editorial tasks. He has a Master's Degree in Liberal Studies and a Bachelor's Degree in Cultural Studies with a concentration in Journalism from SUNY Empire State College.