Curuba or Banana passionfruit: a tropical delight

Flavor, properties, uses and curiosities about this exotic fruit

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By Alex

Tropical fruits are increasingly popular. But the world of exotic fruits is truly vast. Today we will introduce you to the curuba, an exotic fruit we hear little about. Also called Banana Passionfruit, it is the fruit of a tree in the same family as the passion flower. So let’s find out together what it looks like, how to eat it, and what it tastes like.

What kind of fruit is curuba?

Also called Banana Passionfruit, curuba is an exotic fruit belonging to the same family as passionflower.

This fruit has an elongated shape (about 10 cm), with a yellowish-green skin that contains a deep yellow, almost orange, gelatinous pulp. It also contains many small seeds that can be safely eaten.

What does curuba taste like?

The flavor of curuba is a bit of a mix between banana and passion fruit. It is a very strong and aromatic taste. The riper the fruit, the sweeter the flavor becomes. If too unripe, curuba is sour. But just leave it a few days at room temperature for it to reach the right point of ripeness.

Diffusion

Curuba is widespread in the Southern Hemisphere of the world, especially in Colombia, New Zealand and throughout Latin America.

Curuba plant

As mentioned earlier, the curuba plant is part of the same family as Passiflora. It is an evergreen climbing shrub native to the area of the South American Andes.

This plant has glossy green palmate leaves consisting of five lobes. Ovoid in shape, they can be up to 10-15 cm long. The showy flowers have a corolla consisting of five sepals and five petals. Typically, the corolla is white or very light pink, while the central part is purple or deep red.

Nutritional values

100 grams of the product provides 26 calories, broken down as follows:

  • 6.3 gr of carbohydrates
  • 0.6 gr of protein
  • 2.8 gr of fiber
  • 0.2 gr of fat
curuba
A close-up of this curious tropical fruit.

Properties of curuba

Curuba is rich in vitamins, especiallybetacarotene, which are important for boosting immunity and counteracting the action of free radicals.

How to eat curuba

Curuba is eaten raw. Just cut it lengthwise and then scoop out the pulp with a teaspoon. Alternatively, you can also scoop out the pulp and cut it into chunks adding it to a mixed fruit salad.

In addition, you can also make juices, smoothies, centrifuges, ice creams and desserts of various kinds with curuba.

Where to buy curuba

Banana passionfruit can be sought in the larger fruit and vegetable markets in metropolises or in ethnic stores selling fruits and vegetables from South America.

Cultivation of curuba

Passiflora mixta, the curuba plant, is a tropical climber that, in addition to producing edible fruits, is highly valued for its scenic, highly decorative flowers.

Growing this plant is not exactly easy because, given its origins, it likes hot-humid tropical climates. The ideal temperature should not fall below 16 °C. The ideal exposure is in half shade. It should be grown in humus-rich, well-drained soil. The ideal potting soil should be neither very acidic nor too alkaline. To rejuvenate the plant itself, it is useful to provide pruning at ground level.

curuba plant
The flowers of the curuba plant are very showy and have a corolla composed of five sepals and five petals.

The curuba plant multiplies by seed. The seeds should be soaked in warm water for 24 hours. Then they are to be sown in a shaded seedbed at a temperature between 19 and 24 °C. The first shoots will begin to appear after 12 months. And then the seedlings can be transplanted.

Alternatively, the cutting technique can also be used to propagate the plant, taking it from the nodes of young shoots. Cuttings root well in neutral to slightly acidic compost.

More on exotic fruits

If you are interested in strange fruits from distant countries, or unusual crosses, here are a few posts you may like: