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Passion fruit (passiflora)

A tropical vine fruit which looks like a large wrinkled plum; the yellow flesh is fragrant, sweet and juicy and full of small black edible seeds. It can be eaten raw, or used to flavour drinks and ice cream.

There are over 350 species of passiflora, many of them with the characteristic flowers, but only the fruits of about eleven are significant in culinary terms. The most important is passiflora edulis, a native of Brazil, and its variety passiflora edulis flavicarpa - the Golden or Haawaiin Passion fruit. The fruit of these varieties is commercially grown in Australia, Kenya, New Zealand and South Africa.

Another popular species is passiflora incarnata (often known as May Pops or May Apple - and grown in the South-East of the U.S.A. Other varieties go under the name Banana Passion Fruit, Bell Apple, Golden Passion Fruit, Hardshell Passion Fruit and Granadilla.

If the fruit has a smooth, shiny skin, it's not ready to eat, so leave the skin to wrinkle. Slice in half, and scoop out the insides, the black seeds are edible.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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