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Gavin Greig [userpic]

Dragon fruit

January 31st, 2007 (10:19 pm)
current location: KY16 8SX

A strange fruit has appeared in the supermarket over the last couple of weeks. Fortunately, despite the recent foolishness in Big Brother, it is not the sort that Billie Holiday sang about.

This is a far more palatable fruit than that, though "strange" is still the mot juste. It is labelled as dragon fruit, and it is easy to see why:

The scaly-looking exterior of the dragon fruit

It looks quite exotic and interesting, so even at £1.89 a pop it seemed worth a try. You can peel it, or (and this seems to be the better option) slice the top off and eat the innards with a tea-spoon. If you do that, it looks something like this:

The innards of a dragon fruit

The first time you see it, that's a bit worrying. It's described as white flesh, but at first glance I have to say I thought it was grey! The random scatter of seeds through the flesh is also slightly off-putting. Seeds tend to be tidily arranged in most fruit, and the dragon fruit's disdain for convention sparks suspicion of subversive intent.

When you brave it with a spoon, it's a bit of an anti-climax. The consistency's somewhere between watermelon and pear - it scoops out easily, but holds its shape. It has sweet juice, but doesn't have a strong or distinctive flavour. It's most like a kiwi fruit.

It turns out the dragon fruit is the fruit of a cactus, and it originates in the Americas, although it's farmed in the Far East. The ones at Tesco seem to come from Vietnam.

I don't think this will be a regular purchase, and I wouldn't suggest going out of your way to track them down, but if you see them somewhere they are probably worth a try at least once. One of these eaten with a spoon makes a nice light dessert.


Posted by: silverwhistle (silverwhistle)
Posted at: February 1st, 2007 09:43 am (UTC)

Hm. I've seen them in the greengrocer's, but wasn't sure what you were meant to do with them... There was something suspiciously artichoke-like about the appearance.

I like cherimoyas (custard apples), which taste like apple-and-custard, but unfortunately are also full of random pips, which you have to spit out.

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