Maracuya are large, round to oblong fruits with thick, bright yellow rinds. They are about 8 centimeters long and 4 centimeters wide. The skin is smooth and may be covered in light yellow specks. Mature fruits will be wrinkled and soft to the touch. Inside is a soft white pith and a large hollow cavity filled with brown, edible seeds encased in bright yellow, gelatinous pulp. The pulp has an intensely sweet, floral aroma with an acidic taste and tropical flavor.
Maracuya are used in both raw and cooked applications. Freshly scooped pulp and seeds are eaten as is or used atop salads, yogurts, and parfaits. The pulp is separated from the seeds through straining and the juice is sweetened and used for smoothies, juices, and desserts like sherbet, ice cream and sorbet. The juice is added to dressings and used to make jams, jellies and sauces. It adds color and tropical flavors when poured over cheese cake, vanilla ice cream or panna cotta. Maracuya will keep for up to 5 days at room temperature and up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Maracuya is native to South America?s Amazon Rainforest where they have been cultivated for centuries. Their origin is unknown; however, some believe they are a hybrid of P. edulis, the sour purple passionfruit and P. ligularis called ?sweet granadilla?. Others believe the yellow fruit was a chance mutation discovered in Australia. . Yellow passionfruit are also found in the Caribbean and in Central America, though they may be different varieties. Maracuya are most likely spotted at markets throughout northern South America.