I spend most of my time when I am grocery shopping in the produce section. It smells good and has lots of colorful items to keep me occupied for some time. In the past few weeks I kept eyeing this fruit - Dragon Fruit. Well the flesh I suppose looks like a dragons skin, but I was curious as to what the insides looked like. When I picked it up, it was hard and had no aroma to it. Hum, I wonder what I could do with this, and most of all, what does it taste like. But at a price of $5.00 for one, I put it back on the shelf, but kept my eye on it. I did this for several weeks. Yesterday, to my surprise, Chris came into the house with a sack of fruit and chocolate! He decided to make dessert for dinner and the fruits that he had in the sack were, you guessed it, DRAGON FRUIT!!! I was so excited! So immediately, out came the camera!
Dragon Fruit, a.k.a. Pitahaya, Strawberry Pear is the fruit of several cactus species. It is native to Mexico, South and Central America, but actually is cultivated around the world in all tropical regions. It is rich in fiber, vitamin C and has lots of minerals. In reading about it I found it interesting, that in Taiwan, diabetics use the fruit as a substitute for rice!
As you can see, the flesh of the Dragon Fruit is red. But what really surprised me was that the inside of the fruit was white! I guess I was thinking it would be the same color or pink. There are some that have a red core, but ours was white with lots of little tiny black seeds. OK, now for the taste test! One bite and disappointment spread over Chris' face and I am sure mine also. No flavor! (When I first saw the inside, I thought of Kiwi with those little black seeds.) A nice crunch, but nada on the taste buds. Maybe it was not ripe enough. I have no clue, but it sure looks interesting. Has anyone tried this fruit? What was your experience? Anyhow, we still served it with Chris' chocolate dessert.
What did save the day was the other fruit that Chris had in the sack - Star Fruit, Carambola! We all have had this beauty of a fruit and it saved the day! Star Fruit is originally from Sri Lanka and the Moluccas. It has also been cultivated for hundreds of years in Southeast Asia and Malaysia. Today it grows in South Florida and Hawaii due to our warm environment. It is a lovely little fruit that is an excellent source of Vitamin C and is low in fat. Star Fruit is crunchy and has the combination of flavors such as lemons, plums and a hint of pineapple in it. A touch of acidity in the fruit also adds a bit of sparkle to the palate.
Chris plated his dessert, a small chocolate souffle, on top of a light, creamy banana sauce with a couple of pieces of star fruit to the side. Heavenly! At this point, I said heck with the photos!