Passion fruit grows on vines throughout Baja California Sur. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

The worse it looks the better it tastes. That isn’t usually a strong endorsement for trying something new.

I wasn’t sure what to make of the yellow orbs at first. But Jill had yet to steer me wrong with expanding my culinary knowledge so I accepted a few. It wasn’t long before I was excited to see a few left outside the casita for me. When a neighbor in Todos Santos dropped off a bag full and I wasn’t shy about making known I’d like some.

Passion fruit is wonderful. It’s amazing how few it takes to have such big flavor. It’s sweet and a bit tart at the same time.

Some are about the size of a golf ball; none have been bigger than a baseball. Most have been yellow, with a few having a purple color on the outside. The best are when they start to shrivel a bit. That’s when it’s time to cut them in half to scoop out the flesh and seeds inside.

I have had passion fruit with yogurt, with yogurt and granola, in a smoothie, and a margarita. Jill mixes them with mangos for an exceptional jam. I’ve used that jam as a topping on vanilla ice cream.

All the ones she has provided me have come from the neighborhood, not a store.

Besides being so incredibly yummy, passion fruit get high marks for nutritional value. A single fruit has about 17 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 9 percent of the daily recommend vitamin C, and 5 percent for vitamin A.

Passion fruit is grown in the tropics and subtropics. It’s also known as granadilla, maracuya, parcha and liliko’i. In Baja they often go by granada China, while on the mainland it’s maracua.

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