Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dragon and other Exotic Tropical Fruit

I just got off the phone with my son. In far-off Minneapolis, the most constant and consistant-found tropical fruit available are mangoes. From Mexico. He assured me that they're pretty good. He also enjoyed some golden raspberries, which I've never seen here in Honolulu. I did have some of those in Portland, OR that were yummy.

Still, we had some awesome locally-grown fruit last week. The DH came home with a large dragon fruit. A colleague said a neighbor found the plant growing in his yard. It looks like it was designed - an ovoid fuchsia fruit with green barbs and "scales". Here's a photo and more information from a website, :

I put the gaudy solo fruit in a paper bag for several days, then quartered it and easily pulled off the fuchsia skin. I sliced the fruit into bite-sized chunks, chilled it and served it with lime and mint as a side dish at dinner. The flesh was white, and freckled with seeds. I felt the taste was relatively bland - like a cross between a kiwi and melon or banana. There is also a variety with fuchsia colored fruit interior, and black seeds. I added a drizzle of agave syrup over mine. This turned out to be a good instinct, as with further research I found that the pitaya or pitahaya, the Hylocereus, is a cactus, and agave of course is a desert plant. Dragon fruit flowers look very similar to our lovely and fragrant night-blooming cereus. 

Before that, the DH came home with a rumpled paper bag that he held close. He said, "You won't guess what I have here!" An expensive wine? Truffle oil? Live Maine lobsters?

None of the above! His paper bag held five small Pirie mangoes. I wrote about the difference between the more commonly-found bold-tasting Hadens and the lovely shy sweetness of Piries here

The DH gets the job of peeling and slicing these babies, and I just eat 'em! Of course the peeling, etc. also involves sucking the remaining fruit off the peels and seeds. Out of five mangoes, four were solid specimens. The fifth must have fallen from the tree; it was too soft and bruised to eat. The mango chunks were eaten on top of vanilla ice cream, with morning oatmeal, and with a salad of baby mixed greens and shrimp. 

Too yummy! 

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