Dragon Fruit

The summer after my first year in graduate school I spent a month in Hawaii as a teaching assistant on an archaeological field school, an awesome opportunity to take advantage of some of the wonders of the Big Island. One of my fondest memories of that time was the trip we took to the farmers’ market in Hilo one Saturday. I was so overwhelmed by the abundance of exotic fruits and vegetables that I’d never encountered before and I wanted to try them all. Fortunately there was one particular vendor who seemed to specialize in catering to the needs of people like myself, neophytes to the tropical fruit world, and was more than happy to explain the differences in all the new produce that they had available. I walked away from that market with a huge smile on my face and a great deal of new flavor adventures stored up in my bag. One of those adventures was the dragon fruit.

The dragon fruit I had that summer was amazing to me. The fruit itself was so beautiful, with its magenta exterior with the little green leaves and an even more brilliant magenta interior with tiny black seeds (similar to what you find inside a kiwi). I was in total awe of the brilliance of the color in this fruit. And the flavor was nothing to sneeze at either. It was perhaps a bit subtler than one might expect, given the overwhelming visual appearance, but it was sweet and juicy and entirely satisfying.
dragon-fruit-3.jpg
Needless to say, when I came across dragon fruits for sale in Chinatown this weekend, I had to buy one to see how they compared to my memories. I did a little research before I cut into the fruit and realized that the variety I had purchased was most likely not the one with the brilliant magenta flesh, but the more commonly available white-fleshed type, which was purportedly less flavorful. My expectations began to drop. So, I cut it open this morning (the fruit is ripe when it is squeezable, like an avocado), and peeled off the red outer peel. It was indeed the white-fleshed variety. Here I have to agree with the comments I had read from others, this type was much more flavorless (as its appearance even suggests). I would liken its taste to something between a really bland kiwi and a cucumber. Yes it was juicy and interesting in appearance, with the little black seeds speckled throughout, but certainly not a fruit I would go back for seconds on. How disappointing! C’est la vie. But hey, it was an adventure, and that’s what life is about. Food as memory, now that’s a topic worth exploring, but we’ll save that for another day…

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Food

11 Comments on “Dragon Fruit”

  1. Sian Hausnenkun Says:

    When reading this found it a bit off putting, as it says it was unlikely to buy a magenta coloured fleshed dragon fruit, but, nevertheless I bought and tried this fruit. It did not have (as I had hoped) magenta coloured flesh, but it tasted lovely and I thought it would make a gorgeous sorbet. I put it in the freezer for one day, and the outcome was amazing. So I think that any dragon fruit has a lovely taste, especialy as a sobet!

  2. john Says:

    i am from the boston area and i am very interested in buying some dragon frui, in particular the red magenta type. Only i have been told it has more flavor. thanks a million

  3. Krzysztof Says:

    Hello,
    I first bougth a dragon fruit tooday. I never eat it.

  4. Dragon Says:

    Those little seeds grow readily and have stood 28 degrees without complaint. I have some at 6 foot length but a lot more is on the way, a most amazing plant and delicious fruit and stunning flower. http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg15/Dragonwlkr/Picture574_23Feb09.jpg?t=1235419302

  5. Niki Says:

    I bought my first dragon fruit yesterday after years of having dragon fruit flavored this and that. It was a white and I must say…. tastes an awful lot of nothing.

  6. JROD Says:

    HAHAHA….HEARD THAT NIKI….I GOT MYSELF ONE OF THE WHITE FLESH ONES AND THAT WAS THE FIRST THING I SAID….NOTHING…DEFINATELY NOT THE FLAVOR IN THOSE BEVERAGES TO SAY THE LEAST..IF YOU PLANT ONE THOUGH THEY GROW INTO A REALLY UGLY PLANT THAT PRODUCES SOME OF THE COOLEST FLOWERS I HAVE EVER SEEN IN PERSON AND OF COURSE DRAGON FRUIT…A DEFINATE GREAT DISCUSSION PIECE

  7. Chris Says:

    As with all vegetables and fruits it matters if it had time to ripen on the plant. White dragon fruit fresh from the “tree” in Vietnam is delicious.

  8. Child of Dragon fruit vendor Says:

    @Niki/JROD

    The Dragon fruit, white, does not really have a distinctive taste or flavor, it is eaten in Vietnam for it’s cooling or cool effects. The Magenta colored Dragonfruit/Pataya is the real flavorful one. It is extraordinarily expensive to import and even more expensive to sell etc. However the Magenta one’s are the sweetest and one of the best tasting of the dragon fruit.

  9. Suresh Says:

    For the first time I ate drgaon fruit yesterday, the white flesh ones. They were awesome.

  10. jay-ar naga nacional Says:

    Here in the Philippines Yummy i like it 🙂

  11. WOOW! Says:

    i was able to eat a dragon fruit which my friend gave me… the fruit was a stranger to both of us… and he did not dare to taste it.. i was a bit curious about its taste, not mentioning its beautiful appearance and color, it tasted nice… a little bit sweet for a magenta colored fruit inside, filled with lot of little-sesame-like-seeds… i wondered what vitamins i has! i loved the fruit, the most beautiful fruit i’ve seen… =)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: