Passion fruit is a favorite tropical fruit because of its sweet taste with a slight tart touch. Although it is quite popular among fruit lovers, some still have trouble distinguishing ripe passion fruits from unripe ones. As a result, they often find the fruit tarty. To avoid such an unpleasant event, let’s find out how to tell if a passion fruit is ripe!
Furthermore, we will include some tips to choose fresh fruits and cook them into various tasty meals and beverages. In addition, you can check on effective ways to store them to prolong their shelf-life.
So, bear with us and read this article to the end so you won’t miss any important info about this tropical gem!
Table of Contents
- How To Choose Fresh Passion Fruit?
- Is Passion Fruit Supposed To Be Hard or Soft?
- How Do You Know When Passion Fruit Is Ripe?
- How Long Does Passion Fruit Take To Ripen?
- What Does A Passion Fruit Taste Like When Is Ripen?
- Why Do Passion Fruit Go Wrinkly?
- How To Store Passion Fruit?
How To Choose Fresh Passion Fruit?
At first glance, you may wonder whether it is a fig? Or a plum? Or other newly discovered fruit species? Nope! It is a passion fruit whose taste will spoil your tongue with a combination of sweet, sour, and a little tart.
The size is only about 3 inches with a hard-textured rind that will shrink when the fruit is ripe. And here, the tricky part begins! How to choose the fresh ones?
Well, you can check on the skin. Make sure there is no physical damage that may be a way for microbes or insects to invade the flesh. Then, try to smell it. Fresh passion fruits will have a sweet, fragrant aroma. So, any slight off odor that is uncommon indicates that they are either rotten or overripe.
Next, don’t forget to choose one with a darker color. Generally, they will have dark purple shades, which tend to be blackish when ripe. Avoid the green ones because they don’t taste good.
Is Passion Fruit Supposed To Be Hard or Soft?
Depending on its cultivars, a ripe passion fruit usually features dark purple, orange, or golden yellow. These characteristics are followed by softened texture when you grab it. The riper they are, the more delicate the surface will be.
Besides, you will start to smell the nectarous aroma from the ripened passion fruits. Furthermore, they will feel heavy and plump when you hold them. That indicates that the seeds are fully covered by sweet flesh. And, of course, you can harvest it right away.
Contrary to that, hard passion fruits indicate that they are not yet ripe. If the skin color is already purple, but the texture is still hard, wait 5-7 days until it softens slightly. Then, enjoy the burst of sweetness that awaits.
How Do You Know When Passion Fruit Is Ripe?
Considering its complex and unique texture, it is pretty tricky to determine whether the passion fruit is ripe or not. Some people will see a darkening color and softening of the fruit’s skin as one of the signs it is ready to eat.
However, is it really only seen from these two factors? Or are there any other characteristics that can help consumers determine this fruit’s maturity? Instead of guessing, let’s see how to tell if a passion fruit is ripe below.
1. Check The Color
The darker the skin, the more ripe the fruit. In general, passion fruit will turn purplish, golden yellow, or orange when they are ready to be harvested. Don’t eat the green ones because they are unripe.
Otherwise, you will taste a sour and tart flavor. However, there are cases where the green-skinned passion fruit is ripe which are indicated by falling from the tree. If this happens, you can use the measurements below to ensure it is safe to eat.
2. Observe The Skin Texture
Don’t be fooled by the smooth skin of the fruit. Even though it looks unattractive, the ripe passion fruit actually has wrinkly skin. This is due to the softened texture of the fruit, so the skin looks shrunken.
But it’s best to avoid those with extremely wrinkled rinds as they alert you if they’ve overripe. Instead of tasting sweet, the taste, smell, and texture are off.
3. Feel The Weight
Unlike the unripe ones, ripe passion fruits will feel heavier when you hold them. The seeds will be fully covered with pulp, and more juice will be produced. Thus, making the fruits plumper. This method is quite common and applies to some fruits with high water content, such as watermelon and melon.
4. Smell The Aroma
You will know that your passion fruit is ripe when the sweet aroma fills the air when you open it. The pleasant scent comes from the yellow flesh, which contains odor-active chemical compounds.
In unripe fruit, these compounds have a lower concentration. Therefore, you may not smell any noticeable sweet odor on the unripe passion fruits.
5. Examine Any Damage
The soft texture of ripe passion fruit threatens its appearance as it is prone to physical injury. Unfortunately, the dark color of the ripe fruit sometimes makes it even more difficult for consumers to detect it.
In fact, such damage can lead to mold or bacterial infection, which makes the part inedible. But don’t worry! You can still consume the rest that is not overgrown with mold.
How Long Does Passion Fruit Take To Ripen?
Now that you have understood the characteristics of ripe passion fruits, another question pops up, how long does it take passion fruit to ripen? Can you speed up its maturity? Hold on! Let’s discuss them one by one.
Passion fruits generally take about 2-3 months to mature in the summer. However, it highly depends on the cultivars and the climates in which they grow.
If you plant passion fruits in cold climates, it will take longer until they are ready to collect, up to a year! Meanwhile, green passion fruits only need 3-7 days until they ripe. So, don’t throw them away if you have already bought them.
You can also accelerate the ripening process by leaving the fruit at room temperature (25°C). It will boost ethylene gas production, which is responsible for ripening your fruits. In addition, such temperature also enhances the fruit’s respiration process to mature quickly.
What Does A Passion Fruit Taste Like When Is Ripen?
Those who have a sweet tooth will definitely like passion fruit. It has a sweet taste, with a hint of a unique tart that takes you to a new world of tropical cuisine. Nevertheless, it doesn’t overwhelm your buds.
Hence, passion fruit will also suit the taste of those who don’t really like sweets. Moreover, the flesh covering the seeds is filled with mouth-watering juice! But wait. Can you also eat the seeds? Or, passion fruit only gives you the pulp to enjoy?
What Part of Passion Fruit Do You Eat?
In addition to the sweet and juicy flesh of the fruit, you can also eat it with the seeds! Although it looks intimidating because of its black color, the seeds are edible and safe to eat. You can feel the crunchiness once you munch on the fruit.
Moreover, they don’t have a specific taste. Only the texture stands out and balances the softness of the fruit. Besides, the seeds contain beneficial micronutrients, such as vitamins A and C, magnesium, and potassium, that supports your body’s functions.
How To Eat Passion Fruit?
Due to hard skin, some will be confused about how to eat it. Especially those who have never tried passion fruit at all. Well, it’s super easy! Try the following tips:
- Wash the fruit on the running tap water to remove dust and dirt on the skin.
- Prepare a sharp knife. Then, cut the fruit in half.
- After that, scoop out the pulp into a bowl.
- And voila! You can enjoy it raw.
As we mentioned earlier, the seeds are safe to consume. So, you can eat them with the fruit flesh. But mind you, don’t chew on the rind! It contains cyanogenic glycosides that can be harmful to your health.
Besides being eaten directly from the fruit, you can explore your creativity and passion in cooking by making dessert or beverage recipes from passion fruit. Curious about what you can make out of this tropical treasure?
- Passion Fruit Jam. It is a simple way to process passion fruit for easy storage and extend its shelf-life. To add sweet and sour, you can boil the pulp and outer shells with lemon and sugar. They also work to create jam-like textures. Besides, you also have to make inner flesh puree to improve the jam’s quality.
- Passion Fruit Salad. Unlike jams, this one may be the easiest recipe you can try at home. Prepare a bowl of fruits, like mango, pineapple, banana, cherry, and apples. Then, scoop out passion fruit from the shells and add it to the bowl.
- Passion Fruit Juice. If you are one of those people who don’t like to eat fruit but want to taste it, making it juice is the best way to do so. Strain the seeds from the pulps with a fine strainer or cloth. And enjoy it!
What Is Passion Fruit Good For?
Along with its delicious taste, passion fruit is excellent for your health. It is loaded with essential minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. They help ensure your muscles, brain, and bones are healthy and work properly.
Meanwhile, B vitamins, folate, and vitamins A and C are also high in fruits. Those are crucial to ensure your cells, neurons, and immunes are functioning as they are supposed to be. Some studies also mention that passion fruit can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
In addition, extract from purple passion fruit peel can help treat adult asthma patients. Therefore, passion fruit is an excellent addition to your daily diet. However, anything too much is not good.
Eating excessive portions of passion fruit can upset your gastrointestinal tract, such as causing diarrhea. It may happen due to too much fiber consumed at one time. Just eat the fruit once per day to absorb its abundance of health benefits and not trigger any stomach issues.
Why Do Passion Fruit Go Wrinkly?
Speaking of appearance, wrinkly fruits are not attractive. In fact, some categorize such fruits as non-edible. However, it’s not the case with passion fruit. The wrinkled and dimpled exterior indicates they are ripe and ready to eat.
The taste is also sweet with a fragrance aroma that makes you crave this tropical fruit.
On the other hand, smooth skin describes its imperfect maturity stage. Usually, the skin color of unripe passion fruit is green. Unlike the ready-to-harvest ones that feature dark purple, golden yellow, or deep orange shades. Then, what makes their skin shrink when ripe?
Scientifically speaking, it alerts you that the seeds are ready to sow. Thus, the skin stretches, weakens, and wrinkles.
How To Store Passion Fruit?
We have discussed and given you some tips for processing passion fruits into various delicious culinary delights.
In addition to turning the fruit into diverse cuisines, the processing or cooking also prolongs shelf life and facilitates handling during storage. But if you want to keep them fresh but with extended shelf-life, here are some tips you can try!
How Do You Store Passion Fruit for A Long Time?
Naturally, passion fruits can last for around one week at room temperature. But, it must be taken into account that there shouldn’t be any physical injuries that can trigger mold or bacterial infection. Whether you buy the fruits from the market or pick them yourself, you must wash the fruits prior to storage.
Then, dry with a cloth. The presence of water that is too long on the skin can trigger microbial growth. You can also put the fruits in a crate that allows good air circulation to avoid mold.
In addition, temperature regulation also affects the shelf-life of passion fruit. The lower the temperature, the longer they can be stored. Further explanation regarding cold storage for passion fruits is available in the following sections!
How Long Does Passion Fruit Last In The Fridge?
The refrigerator temperature, in general, is 5°C. With the cold temperature, your passion fruits can last for a month! The respiration process will slow down, and the enzyme activity will also be inactivated. Thus, you can have fresh fruits for longer.
Moreover, you can wrap the tropics with brown paper. It will prevent the absorption of moisture by the fruit, which can make it mushy. Don’t let them sit with bananas, avocados, or kiwis as they can speed up the ripening process.
Besides refrigeration, it is recommended to freeze the fruit. Freezing can make the pulp last up to three months. However, you must cut it open and take all the flesh into an airtight sealed cup to prevent microbial transfer in the freezer.
How Long Does Passion Fruit Last Once Cut?
The cut passion fruit will be safe and tasty to eat for around 7-10 days in the refrigerator. It should also be stored in an airtight container to avoid bacterial spoilage.
You can also store it in the ice cubes and keep it in the freezer. For this method, you can expect a longer shelf life of 2-3 months than in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, those who stay at room temperature will only last 3-4 hours. This is because passion fruit’s water and fructose content stimulates microbial growth, such as mold.
The best way to know whether or not the passion fruit is ripe is to look at the changes in color, texture, smell, and weight. However, you should also consider their cultivar because it could be different. Also, make sure you save the ripe fruit properly, so there is no spoilage.
You can keep them in the refrigerator or freezer if you want to consume them for a more extended period.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Should I chew passion fruit seeds?
Unlike other fruits, like apples, whose seeds are poisonous, you can safely chew and eat passion fruit seeds. They may be a little tarty, but they mostly taste sweet! Also, you can feel the crunchiness pop up in your mouth every time your teeth crush on the seeds.
Moreover, passion fruit seeds are rich in some micro nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, magnesium, and potassium, which are beneficial for your health.
Why is my passion fruit bitter?
If you find sour passion fruits, they are not ripe yet. In addition, in some cases, your passion fruits may taste bitter. In that case, you should check on their growing conditions.
It could be that they grow in too cold areas without mulch or proper shelter. Make sure you mulch the soil to protect the plant while retaining moisture.
Is green passion fruit edible?
Technically speaking, green passion fruit is edible. However, you can’t expect pleasant, sweet flesh with a touch of tartness. All you get is sour with a predominance of tarty flavors you can’t enjoy.
It is better to wait a little longer, around 5-7 days until the passion fruit is ready to collect. Some of the signs it is ripening are darker and wrinkled skin.
Can you eat the skin of a passion fruit?
You can eat the seeds of passion fruits, but not the skin. Despite having attractive deep purple or orange colors, it contains a toxic chemical called cyanogenic glycosides.
With enzymes, it can produce poisonous cyanide that is potentially harmful to your health if ingested in large quantities. Besides, the skin texture is hard and considered inedible.