Passion Fruit (Maracudja)
One thing I particularly like in Guadeloupe Archipelago is the wide range of tropical fruits juices available throughout the year. Although they are accessible in all groceries stores, most of the time you can enjoy them freshly squeezed, especially when buying street foods. The most popular are: Guava, Sugar-cane, Prune de cythère, Soursop, Passion fruit also called Maracudja in Guadeloupe Archipelago. When I was in secondary school, once a week I used to go to the town centre for lunch break. At that time, my favourite meal combination was a chicken sandwich with a fresh and chilled Passion fruit juice. Let’s explore deeper the characteristics and health benefits of the Passion fruit.
Origin & Description
Passion fruits are native to Brazil and are cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas. As I mentioned earlier, we call them Maracudja in Creole and Fruits de la passion in French. The funny part is that the word Maracuja without the “d” is also used in other countries such as Portugal or Brazil.
The Passion fruit is a type of berry with an oval or round shape. There are several distinct varieties of Passion fruits with different sizes and colours including the purple passion fruit, the Yellow passion fruit, the Sweet granadilla, the Giant granadilla, and the Banana Passion fruit. Some of them can be the size of a grapefruit while others can be the size of a lime. Indeed, according to the species and variety, the size of the fruit ranges between 4 cm to 26 cm and for the colours they may vary from yellow, orange, green, red to purple. Inside, the fruit contains multiple black seeds surrounded by an orangey-yellow jelly-like flesh. In terms of flavour, it is slightly sour which makes it ideal to combine with other vegetables, fruits, or drinks.
The fruit can be eaten raw with a spoon or mixed in a fruit salad. Some people are sprinkling some sugar on the top when eating as a whole fruit as it can be very tangy. In Guadeloupe Archipelago, the Maracudja juice is quite popular. Also, because the rum is part of our culinary heritage, a good deal of punchs are made from tropical fruits juices and rum. The Maracudja punch is a famous one. Other than that, the Maracudja sorbet is another highly requested treat in Guadeloupe Archipelago. As most of many fruits, the Passion Fruit is a great basis to make lots of desserts such as Passion Fruit mousse, Passion Fruit Pannacotta, Passion Fruit Macarons, Passion Fruit Ice lolly as well as being an excellent flavouring for Cheesecakes, milk-shakes, smoothies, cakes, and pies.
Nutrients and Health benefits
The Passion fruit is an excellent source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, the fresh fruit contains vitamins A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3(Niacin) as well as a high amount of vitamin C which helps protect cells and keep them healthy. For the minerals, Passion Fruit has calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc. In addition to that, if you experience insomnia and anxiety, the Passion Fruit has sedative and relaxing effects as it is rich in flavonoids and alkaloids that are beneficial in case of sleep issues.
Don’t forget to taste “un jus de maracudja” (Passion Fruit juice in French) when visiting Guadeloupe Archipelago. It is quite easy to find fresh Passion Fruit juices especially when enjoying street foods. But of course, all the other desserts are as worthy as the juice.