Sweet Alata Passionfruit
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Sweet Alata passionfruit are medium-to-large, oval shaped fruits with a slight neck at the stem end. They measure between 10 and 15 centimeters long and 7 centimeters wide. The thick, smooth rind matures from green to yellow then dark yellow and will develop only slight wrinkles when fully ripe. The fruit’s large hollow cavity is filled with edible white seeds or arils, covered in a gelatinous, yellow pulp. The flavor is very sweet with a hint of acid.
Sweet Alata passionfruit are available year-round in Brazil.
Sweet Alata passionfruit, also known as Sweet passionfruit or Maracuya Doce, is botanically classified as Passiflora alata. The large yellow passionfruit is commonly found in Brazil, the world’s largest producer of passionfruit, and a few other South American countries. The plant is grown for their large, ornamental flowers and their sweet fruits that resemble small papayas.
Sweet Alata passionfruit are high in potassium and vitamins A and C. They are a good source of calcium, phosphorus, iron and niacin and contain trace amounts of thiamine and riboflavin. Sweet Alata passionfruit contain small quantities of carotenes and fiber and offer antioxidant and digestive benefits.
Sweet Alata passionfruit are most often used raw, the seeds scooped out of halved fruits and strained through a mesh sieve for their juice. The juice is added to beverages, smoothies, marinades, and dressings, and is used to make desserts from curds and sauces to ice creams, mousse and muffins. The sweet passionfruit pairs well with other tropical fruits, stone fruits, bitter greens, seafood, and poultry. Use the juice in place of lemon or lime juice in recipes, the sweet flavor of the fruit requires less sugar. Top ice cream, yogurt, panna cotta, and other desserts with the sweet arils. Ripen Sweet Alata passionfruit at room temperature and refrigerate to extend shelf life. Refrigerate ripened fruit for up to 1 week.
Sweet Alata passionfruit plants are vining plants that develop large flowers with purple petals, white and purple striped corona filaments and golden yellow anthers and stigmas. P. alata is believed to be the most beautiful of all the passionflowers and its fruits the sweetest of all the passionfruit.
Sweet Alata passionfruit are native to the high plains and forests of the western Amazon. The fruits are primarily cultivated in Brazil, though the plants are grown for their flowers in temperate conditions throughout the world. Pollinators for the large, yellow passionfruit variety don’t exist in the United States, so two plants and hand pollinating are required to produce fruit. The first developed cultivar of the Sweet passionfruit was released at the end of 2017 in Brazil. Sweet Alata passionfruit are most likely spotted in markets and mercados throughout Brazil, particularly in the Atlantic Forest region.