Passion fruit (maracuya) can be found in many grocery stores nearly year round. And because of that it’s growing season is not well known.
The passion fruit is grown in tropical regions and it has grown in popularity in recent years. If you are looking for the best tasting, and juiciest passion fruits it’s best to purchase them when they are in season.
We are going to cover when passion fruit is in season as well as some must know tips for everyone looking to start eating more passion fruit.
When Is Passion Fruit In Season?
Passion fruit is grown in many tropical locales. It thrives in temperate climates and is grown in large quantities. This has led to it being easy to find in most US regions almost all times of year.
Passion fruit is in season starting in middle summer up until middle winter.
Passion fruit has a long harvest season for a couple reasons.
There are in fact, two types of passion fruit, and they are harvested at different times.
The popular purple passion fruit are the first to be harvested. After two to two and a half months, purple passion fruit are ready for harvest. This makes them at their best tasting mid summer.
Yellow passion fruit, on the other hand, take longer to be ready for harvest making for a later harvest time.
Grown in Hawaii and other tropical American locations, the yellow passion fruit is most likely what you will find at your local grocery store later in the year. These fruits are in season as late as the middle of winter.
While yellow are often more commonly found in US markets, purple passion fruit can also be found. Because of this, passion fruit can be found in season for a large portion of the year.
This means that you can enjoy great tasting passion fruit almost year round.
Related: Passion Fruit Substitutes
How do you tell when a passion fruit is ripe?
Unlike most other common US fruits, passion fruit is ripe and ready to eat when the skin is dimpled and wrinkled.
Most passion fruit found at stores are not yet ripe and will need to age a bit before eating. If your passion fruit has a smooth and shiny skin it is not yet fully ripe.
When selecting a passion fruit you first need to know when you want to use them. If you want to consume your passion fruit ASAP select a fruit that has a wrinkled skin. If you can wait, you can choose a smooth skinned passion fruit.
Note: Passion fruit will feel heavier than most fruits of a similar size. That is because passion fruit contains a higher amount of liquid than most fruits familiar in the US. Therefore, a heavy passion fruit is no reason for concern, it’s a good thing!
What is the difference between yellow and purple passion fruit?
Both yellow and purple passion fruit taste similar. The primary difference, beside their color, is that purple passion fruit are in season sooner than yellow passion fruit.
When looking at either of these two varieties, avoid eating a fruit that has green skin. Passion fruit with green skin is not ripe enough to eat.
Your purple passion fruit may have a mottled color, that is completely normal. Same goes for a yellow passion fruit. Just be certain there is no green skin still present.
How to tell a ripe passion fruit by smelling it
Similar to other fruits, you cant tell a lot about a passion fruit by giving it a sniff. When sniff testing a passion fruit, you should be able to smell passion fruit.
The stronger the aroma, the more flavorful and juicy your fruit will be. So by checking for a wrinkled skin and giving it a smell test, you can make sure your passion fruit is ripe.
How to ripen a passion fruit
As I noted above, most passion fruit found at the grocery store will not be fully ripe. That means you will have to allow your fruit to fully ripen prior to consuming it or adding it to a smoothie or dessert.
Luckily ripening a passion fruit is simple. Place your passion fruit at room temperature out of direct sunlight for three to four days.
That’s right, to ripen a passion fruit you just have to be a little patient. Once your fruit has a dimpled or wrinkled skin it is ready to consume.
You will also find that the skin of the fruit will be mostly the same color when it is ripe.
A ripe passion fruit will also be slightly soft when squeezer. It should not be squishy, but it will give a little when squeezed by hand.
How to tell if a passion fruit has gone bad
If your passion fruit is very soft when squeezed it is no longer good. You will also notice the skin has become quite wrinkled and look almost shriveled.
Another sign that your passion fruit has gone bad is if the color has darkened significantly. You may also find black spots forming.
If you find these signs in your passion fruit it is time to throw them out or add them to the compost pile.
How to store passion fruit
If you will be consuming your passion fruit in the first two days after ripening they can be stored at room temperature out of direct sunlight.
They can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Make sure to store them whole.
Storing in the fridge will slow down the ripening process so ripening them before putting them in the fridge will allow you to eat them straight from the refrigerator.
How to freeze passion fruit
Yes you can store passion fruit in the freezer. This is a great way to go if you have a lot of passion fruit and will not be able to eat it all before it goes bad.
First remove the skin of the passion fruit. Place the inside, including the seeds, in a freezer safe bag.
Seal it and write the date on it. Place in the back of your freezer. You passion fruit will stay good in the freezer for up to 6 months.