The word maracuya sounds like an exotic mixed drink you might order on a beach in Mexico, but what is maracuya exactly?

It's a species of passion fruit (nope, not the Drake song), except a little milder and sweeter. It's also often referred to as "Purple Grandilla" or "Giant Grandilla," in reference to the size. When it is ripe, it resembles a mango in color: green, red, and golden.  

Where to find Maracuya

water, papaya, tamarillo, banana, pasture, coconut
Gemima k. Cadet

Maracuya is native to Brazil, but also found parts of Paraguay, Argentina, and Columbia. When selecting a maracuya, pick the heaviest of the options. In the United States, it can be difficult to find in stores. Whole Foods is a likely spot, especially in warm climates such as California.

How to eat Maracuya

The fruit is egg-shaped in nature, similar to a mango. Almost 1/3 of the fruit is actually composed of water, so while it is heavy, it's not as dense as anticipated.

It's best to slice the fruit open and eat it with a spoon. Begin by cutting the fruit in half, from the stem to the bottom. Another option is to cut the top off the fruit and scoop out the insides. The seeds and pulp should be removed and can be eaten separately. 

Once the skin on the fruit has creased, it's ripe and ready to be eaten. 

What to make with Maracuya

In Brazil, the Maracuya fruit is typically used in desserts such as pie, ice cream, and fruit salad. You can make Maracuya Mousse, served on its own or with cake. Try this Maracuya Passion Fruit Cheesecake, adding an exotic twist to a classic dessert.

The most traditional and delicious use for Maracuya is Maracuya juice

And it's good for you

Maracuya is low in calories and naturally rich with fibers, which will aid any upset stomach. The fruit is also stocked with Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, and Vitamin C, and is good for helping hair grow healthier and improving eyesight.

What is Maracuya? After reading this article, you know this much: it's the fruit you've been waiting to try and the fruit your body has been craving.