Last week, instead of me surprising you with a new food for New Food Friday, you surprised me when many of you let me know that you’ve been eating sardines all along. Some were lucky enough to have the fresh sardines! I am envious but I am happy to know that you are eating food that is good for you! My hat’s off to you fellow sardinians!
OK, so that upped the ante for me to find something more exotic to introduce you to on New Food Friday. I think I found it: White Dragon Fruit.
I’m talking about a Dragon Fruit. The outside skin is a beautiful color. It is described as red but I wouldn’t call it red. It may be more of a cranberry color. The texture of the skin is waxy, like a candle. You can see how it gets it’s name because of the way the leaves simulate scales like a dragon’s scales. Yes, you’re correct, fish also have scales but we did fish last week. This week we’re doing dragons. What has gotten into you? Was it too much turkey yesterday?
The inside of a Dragon Fruit can be either white (with little seeds that are crunchy like kiwi seeds) or red like the outside skin, or even yellow. There are no quills, spines, or needles to worry about on this fruit even though the tree from which it grows is considered a cactus.
The Dragon Fruit flower is gorgeous. Note the fire-y red stamen coming out of the flower. Again, mimicking a dragon’s breath. According to Wikipedia, the flowers bloom overnight and are pollinated by bats. All we need now is a vampire to round out the image of this fruit! The image below is what the Dragon Fruit tree looks like. According to the photographer, this is the largest Dragon Fruit tree in the world and is located in Icod de Los Vinos, in northern Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain). Estimates of its age vary between 500 and 3,000 years old!
Nowadays these fruits are grown in Florida and California and it is said that they are catching on the way kiwi have caught on. Dragon Fruits are also known as Pitahaya.
Nutritional facts vary and may depend on which type of Dragon Fruit you purchase. The fruit I bought was manufactured by the Melissa brand which showed little beneficial vitamins or nutrients on her website for this fruit. Other websites said they are high in vitamin C, rich in phosphorus and calcium with free radical fighters known to contain phytoalbumin antioxidants. However, nobody would argue that they are low in calories and high in fiber. They are native to Mexico, Central and South America, East Asia, and Southeast Asian countries, among others.
How to Serve
Dragon Fruit tastes best eaten raw and chilled. You can sprinkle lemon or lime juice over a slice. It is sometimes made into a sorbet or drink. I sprinkled lemon juice on my slices otherwise this fruit would hardly have any flavor at all in my opinion. I wouldn’t recommend serving the fruit at a dinner party because the black seeds stick in your teeth like crazy and everyone eating it would look like they had rotten teeth! It’s a fun fruit to try but unless I got a bad one, I would not be tempted to try it again. You might have a good laugh eating it with your kids due to all the seeds.
When you’re draggin’ after eating all that turkey, eat a piece of Dragon Fruit to perk you up – it’s refreshing! That’s it folks. I’m all out of dragon jokes today. Have a good one.
UPDATE 12/8/12 : Kenley, of Green Door Hospitality told me that she thought she saw Dragon Fruit being used as a beauty treatment in the movie, “Mirror, Mirror” with Julia Roberts. I watched the movie last night. Sure enough, they were slicing a Dragon Fruit and placing the slices over Julia’s (who played the queen) eyes! Good catch Kenley! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~