Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Have you Tried: Dragon Fruit?

 Dragon Fruit is a very odd looking fruit - a native of Central America, it is now common in Asiatic cooking and the sweet flesh is often used in desserts. It is a refreshing fruit, but for its exotic looks...it is quite mild and the flavor can be easily overwhelmed by more fragrant fruits like strawberries. Also, dragon fruit isn't inexpensive because it is difficult to get to market. A medium to large fruit can cost $4 - $6 a piece. However, if you have the chance to try this newcomer to the American fruit scene...try it! It is loaded with antioxidents and nutrients. Dragon Fruit is high in fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamins B1, 2, and 3.

To choose a ripe dragon fruit: look for bright, even-colored skin. Dragon fruit can be a pinkish red, as above, or a yellow color. If the fruit has a lot of blotches, it may be over-ripe (a few is normal). Another sign of over-ripe dragon fruit is a very dry, brittle brown stem, or brown on the tips of the "leaves". Hold the dragon fruit in your palm and try pressing the skin with your thumb or fingers - it should give a little (like a ripe kiwi), but shouldn't be too soft or mushy. If it's very firm, it will need to ripen for a few days.

Once you slice it open, you can separate the flesh from the skin with a spoon, as you would do to a kiwi fruit. The little black seeds that speckle it are entirely edible. The skin, however, is not edible. Remove any pink flesh that happens to cling to the creamy white inside.