Sunday, July 4, 2010

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of ... Dragon-fruit?

Happy 4th of July

Penn's Landing

So, yesterday, Allan and I went to Penn's Landing to watch the amazing fireworks display that were over the Delaware River.  We packed our bikes in the back of our car and parked at his work, allowing us to just ride around the area and avoid all of the messy traffic.  It was a great idea.  We were able to maneuver around herds of people and look at things in the area.  Allan showed me lots of ships and boats in the area and told me a little about each of them.  He is becoming quite the mariner.  ;)  We had a fabulous time; the night, water and fireworks were gorgeous - and it was very romantic!  :)
Beforehand, I made Allan stop by the Asian Market to get some things.  We saw that there were lots of fun exotic fruits that Allan had not tried (that I love) and had to get! I purchased a few other things, including these seaweed snacks that I'm ridiculously addicted to, roasted black sesame seeds (so I can make more of that yummy cabbage salad), and some candied ginger (great for a sore-throat or nausea).  Random, but fun nonetheless.

seaweed snacks/chips: another not-so-normal (but great for you!) addiction of mine (Thanks, Nancy!)

I bought some, well "a" dragon-fruit, which obviously isn't local (we payed $7.00 for one piece of fruit!).  I joked with the lady at the register that we must have been paying for the shipping, but I don't think she understood me.  Then I felt old saying that - ugh, it sounded like something embarrassing my Mom would say!  The dragon-fruit doesn't fall far from the tree...haha!
Anyways, I try to buy local and seasonal things as much as possible, but Allan really wanted to try it, so we got it.  I think I've told him a couple of dozen times about how it was one of my favorite types of fruit that I had in Thailand.  It may just because of the name.  Dragon-fruit. exotic.
When you go to the Asian market, there are just some things that you can't get anywhere else and you just have to try it.

So this is the Dragon fruit.  Gnarly looking fella, huh?  The outside is a pretty red with wavy tendrils, that sort of resembles a dragon's beard.  Well, at least all of the dragons I've seen.  ;)

Cut it in half, then scoop out the soft, white flesh with a spoon. Notice the black seeds in the middle - it's similar to the seeds in kiwi.

I like to dice it up and put back in the halves for a pretty presentation.  I used little bamboo knotted toothpicks for easy pickin's.

The flavor has been compared to a strawberry and pear mix, also melon and kiwi.  It really has its own distinct thing going.  For a fruit that looks so fantastically exotic from the outside, it is actually quite... bland.  Not bad by any means, just simple and delicate. I think it tastes best chilled.  It mixes really well with other fruit to make a beautiful fruit salad.  I think it would be awesome mixed with freshly cut pineapple, mango and papaya for a tropical feel. Shock your friends by adding this to your fruit salad!

Dragon fruit is extremely high in anti-oxidants and are a rich source of Vitamin C.  Its also low in calories and high in fiber, while the seeds are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids.  They  are great for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure as well as excreting heavy metal toxins from the, I'm not talking Metallica or Iron Maiden here.  This fruit is great for you, try it if you ever get the chance!