The Fruit Stanley Tucci Refuses To Eat

It seems like there's nothing that Stanley Tucci can't do. He's an actor and a chef, he just came out with his own line of cookware with Williams Sonoma, and he even starred in a television show on CNN that took viewers on a food and history tour of Italy. Tucci's home cooking videos often go viral on social media, but there is one food that's unlikely to make an appearance anytime soon because he's less than fond of it — passion fruit.


Grilling the Sauce Man in the kitchen! Congrats on your new cookware line, @Stanley Tucci 🍸❤️ #cook #cooking #stanleytucci #kitchen

♬ original sound – Katie Couric

Reporter Katie Couric interviewed Tucci for her TikTok, asking him the one food he just doesn't like, among many other questions. Tucci claims he likes most foods — which is obvious if you've ever seen his show or any of his cooking videos — but manages to identify passion fruit as the one food he's not a fan of. Couric also gets out of Tucci that although he's a great chef, baking is not his strong suit. Passion fruit is more commonly seen in baked goods or sweet recipes, so Tucci could consider himself safe from having to handle it if he sticks to the savory Italian classics. 

Passion fruit isn't that common in Italian cooking

Passion fruit isn't found in many Italian cookbooks because it's not commonly grown in the region. The fruit is native to South America, specifically Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina, but can now also be grown in warm states in the U.S. like Florida, California, and Hawaii. In Italy, you're more likely to find fruits like tomatoes, eggplant, and olives in recipes because they are grown in the country — in 2021, 2.2 million tons of tomatoes were grown and harvested in the Emilia Romagna region alone, and Apulia produces over 200,000 tons of olive oil every year. 

Even though Tucci claims to not be the best baker, if he ever were to give it a try, passion fruit probably wouldn't show its face in many Italian dessert recipes either. Among the sweet fruits that are the most popular in Italy, the little purple and yellow delight doesn't make the cut. Lemons from Sorrento or Amalfi, famous for their unique flavor, are used in sorbet — or sorbet cocktails like the Sgroppino — and the Amarena cherries native to Bologna are popular in pies, pastries, and fruit salads. In Sicily, watermelon is paired with jasmine flowers to create a refreshing watermelon pudding-like dessert.

So what is passion fruit used in?

Brazil makes up somewhere between 50 and 60% of the world's production of passion fruit and is also its biggest consumer. In Brazil, passion fruit is eaten mostly in the form of processed drinks, but is also a key ingredient in cocktails like the passion fruit caipirinha — a mixture of passion fruit, limes, and cachaça. Also popular in Brazil is mousse do maracuja, a creamy dessert. More broadly, passion fruit is used much like any other fruit, and can be found in everything from parfaits to pavlovas or cakes to smoothies. 

But there are some savory recipes, like Michael Solomonov's chicken schnitzel, that also incorporate the fruit. Solomonov's recipe melds the sweet and sour flavor of the passion fruit with crispy breadcrumb-coated schnitzel and za'atar spice blend. For Tucci's sake, it's probably for the best that his specialty is Italian cooking, and if he stays in that realm, he'll remain far away from the tropical treat.