When are Passion Fruit Ready to Eat?
Do you have a bunch of passion fruit on the vine but not quite sure when it’s ready to eat?
Passion fruit will take 2-3 months to become ripe. Since the Passion Vine produces flowers/fruit all summer long starting in June/July, the early ones should be ready by late August, early September in Zone 7 (if grown in full sun). The easiest way to spot a ripe one is when they fall to the ground. Any fruit you find laying on the ground is sure to be ripe. Another way is too look for yellowing fruit still on the vine. If it feels soft and easily comes off the vine then its ready to eat. Firm fruit that does not come off the vine easily still has some ripening to do.
Once you have them off the vine, simply cut them in half with a knife. You will discover that the fruit is mostly hollow. You should also see small black seeds surrounded by light green almost white fleshy substance. The fleshy stuff is what you want to eat, sort of like a pomegranate but the seeds aren’t as densely packed in the fruit. There aren’t a whole lot of them in each fruit but you should be able to get a couple of mouthfuls. The seeds are not solid so they can be chewed easily, of course you can also swallow them or simply spit them out. For greater satisfaction, I recommend chilling the fruit for a bit before eating.
The taste can best be described as citrusy and custardy but it definitely has a very unique, delicious and distinct taste. There is one amazing thing about the fruit that many will not be aware of and that is that it tastes exactly like a tropical fruit called guanabana also known as soursop. I don’t know if the two are related but if you have eaten guanabana before, you will immediately recognize the passion fruit taste. The interesting thing about this is that guanabana only grows in true tropical climates and is grown from a tree unlike the passion fruit which grows in temperate regions (as well as tropical) and grows on a vine.
Just like with any fruit, there are several things you can do with Passion Fruit such as jams, juices, smoothies, etc. My favorite is to make Passion Fruit juice but you will need quite a few to do so. Another delicious thing to do is to add them into a smoothie mix for a hint of the tropics.
If you do not have passion fruit, then I highly recommend growing some because the flowers are quite beautiful and the fruit is delightful. You can read how to grow your very own here.