dragonfruit. lychees. mango. yum.
I don’t know how well this really fits into Weekend Herb Blogging, but it seems to adhere to the rules, and it’s something many people may be unfamiliar with… and I just found out it’s actually a cactus plant, which renders it kinda herby, don’t you think?
this is also not much of a recipe/dish, but it IS lush. and hey, I’m new at this.
so, it’s a cactus, we’ve covered that. they’re easily available at the markets here in the tropics, and pretty cheap – 3 for $5, although mangos are currently 6 (giants) for $5, or free from colleagues/friends with a tree, so mangos win. the ones I bought are red, but there are other varieties, and the flesh can also be white, grey-ish or yellow-ish, with the little back seeds. in searching around for info links, I read over and over that it is “kinda like kiwifruit” and even that it was related to kiwifruit. since I myself AM a kiwi, and am therefore reasonably familiar with kiwifruit vines, I am quite convinced that kiwifruit is NOT a cactus. but you never know.
tastewise, I also don’t think its too close to kiwifruit, probably it’s the texture and the lovely little seeds that remind everyone of that other crazy-looking and close-to-my-heart fruit.
enough about what dragonfruit isn’t and on to what dragonfruit is: perfumed, a little earthy, not hugely sweet. it’s a lovely delicate flavour, which reminds me very slightly of fresh beetroot, and when you first cut it open it smells just a little like garden picked sun-ripened tomatoes.
anyway, the flavour is nice, but not amazing in my books, which is why I’ve tossed it with lush-lush-lush mango and lychees, with some lime zest and juice.
where the dragonfruit comes into it’s own, however, is visual appeal. it is BEAUTIFUL. I’m obviously a fan, that’s dragonfruit in my header. the unskinned fruit is fantastic to look at in the fruit bowl, with the pink and green fleshy skin with spikes. the black-speckled deep pink cubes look exquisite in the fruit salad, and the red-pink juice goes everywhere and stains everything (making a gorgeous pink syrup in the fruit salad, but also pink tinted fingers and a big pink splotch on my shirt: beware!).
so, I think dragonfruit can be best used for it’s pinkness – and I’m thinking of moving on to pink smoothies and sorbets, jellies, etc etc. I just love pink!
I took this fruit salad to work (it was waaaay too big for just me. the mango alone was the size of a baby’s head) and everyone said “oh! what’s the red stuff? oh, yum!”