Kick off a lifelong love affair with this sweet-tart tropical treat.

passion fruit half cut
Photography by Edmond-Francois/Getty Images
| Credit: Photography by Edmond-Francois/Getty Images

Buy: At the grocery store, give passion fruit a good sniff  and choose the most fragrant one  you can find. Then, be patient: Passion fruit are typically smooth at the store, but they taste their best when they look their worst. Once the skin is dark and deeply wrinkled, it's time to dig in!

Store:  To ripen passion fruit, leave them on the counter and wait. In three to five days, you'll have a sweet treat. Once ripe, the fruit will keep in the fridge for about two weeks.

Eat: Halve the fruit and scoop out the pulp with its edible seeds. Spoon it over yogurt, swirl it  into frosting or stir it into a chicken marinade. Wanna keep things really simple? Slurp the puckery pulp straight from the skin.

ripe passion fruit
Credit: Photography by Getty Images

Beautiful Wrinkles

With passion fruit, wrinkly equals ready to eat!                   

Name Game

The "passion" part of passion fruit isn't a nod to romance at all, but to religion: The vine's spiky flower  reminded 16th-century missionaries of the Passion of Christ.

Knockout Punch

While it might seem exotic, chances are you first tasted passion fruit as a kid without even knowing it: The fruit has been an ingredient  in Hawaiian Punch  for decades.

Ultra Violet

When you buy a passion fruit at the supermarket, odds are it will have deep-purple skin. This variety accounts for  99 percent of the crop sold in the U.S.; the rest are yellow and are found mainly in Hawaii.

Fruit Exchange

One piece of passion fruit contains about two to three tablespoons of pulp—great as a snack, but less practical in cooking. For recipes that call for a quarter cup or more, try these options.

goya fruta passion fruit pulp
Credit: Photo courtesy Goya

Pulp:Passion-fruit pulp (and thinner puree) is usually sold frozen in bags or tubs. While a bit pricey, it's worth splurging for recipes that require a lot of fruit for intense flavor, like passion-fruit ice cream.

ceres passion fruit juice
Credit: Photo courtesy Ceres

Juice: Passion-fruit juice blends are inexpensive and easy to find, and get the job done when you just need the liquid flavor. Stir it with spiced rum and lime juice for a tiki-inspired cocktail, or blend it into a tropical smoothie.

rachael ray and curtis stone television recipe

Tropical Treat

Celebrity chef Curtis Stone is passionate about passion fruit. (That's him shaking up the fruit in caipirinhas on Rachael's show last year.) Growing up in Australia, he'd devour them often as an after-school snack. Now he keeps passion-fruit vines in his yard in L.A. as a reminder of home.