Alluring Dragon Fruit

Always on the lookout for enticing fruity finds, the dragon fruit caught my eye this week. I was in line for a bubble tea in Eden Center when I saw this bright round object resembling a pink spiky mango. Though the price tag for the one pound fruit was $8, I was willing to pay for the joys of discovering a new edible treat.

dragonfruit1
Dragon Fruit. (Erin Hartigan)

Thang loy, pitaya or strawberry pear, they come from Central and South America, along with Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and China.

Although the skin is shockingly hot pink, the meat inside looks like a grayish white kiwi. Less bitter than kiwi, it's a subtly sweet taste that the store-owner insisted was rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.

dragonfruit2
Inside the Dragon Fruit. (Erin Hartigan)

I cut it in half and ate one side straight-up with a spoon. The other side I cut into slices and layered in a mango, blueberry and peach fruit salad in place of my usual kiwi.

By Erin |  July 26, 2006; 1:49 PM ET Discoveries
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Comments

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I discovered Dragon Fruit last year in Singapore. The pale-interior variety isn't the only kind- there's also Dragon Fruit with a hot pink interior. And I personally think the shocking pink variety is more fun to eat.

To Dragon Fruit!

Posted by: Jon Milstein | July 26, 2006 4:04 PM

I think Dragon fruit is not only delicious, but also extremely cool looking. I found out about them in Vietnam a few years ago and have been looking for them locally since. Thanks for letting me know about their availability at Eden Center -- although 8 bucks is steep!

Posted by: Alex | July 26, 2006 4:11 PM

Several weeks ago my 12 year-old daughter made Dragon Fruit sorbet in a cooking class in Hawaii. She thought it was fantastic and attempted to bring a Dragon Fruit back to the mainland. Sadly, the agricultural inspector at the airport would not let it on the plane.

Posted by: William | July 26, 2006 4:22 PM

For a while recently, Trader Joe's was carrying dried dragon fruit. It made a great snack, not as sweet as most dried fruit, and the crunch of the seeds was a nice contrast.

I'm waiting/hoping/praying that it will return soon!

Posted by: Silver Spring | July 26, 2006 6:00 PM

I love dragonfruit, but I've found it's much better fresh in countries that can grow it -- and cheaper (about 5-10 cents for each piece of fruit in Vietnam).

If you want to get some here, I recommend heading over to Grand Mart, across Seven Corners from Eden Center -- it's usually about $5 a pound there (not great, but better!).

Now how about we get some rambutan in the U.S.!? ^_^

Posted by: Arlington | July 26, 2006 6:08 PM

I first saw them in the Asian supermarkets in Flushing Queens, (New York) They were red and prickily and fun to look at. The markets carry durians too and boy do these creamy pudding fruits smell! They make me laugh.

Posted by: Marcia Hershkowitz | August 8, 2006 10:52 AM

I heard that dragon fruit is illegal in some states in the U.S. Is this true? What effect could a piece of fruit hold to make it illegal?

Posted by: unknown | September 3, 2006 8:34 PM

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