Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What the Heck is This?

That's what my family and I said.

Last Sunday, we took a spontaneous trip to Chinatown in New York. It was a beautiful day and we hadn't been to the city in ages, so we just decided to up and go.

Chinatown's sidewalk produce stands, little more than plywood on sawhorses, are always interesting and fun. You see all sorts of Asian fruit and vegies -- bitter melon, Asian pears, lychees -- that never make it into the local supermarket. We kept passing stands selling the exotic fruit pictured above, which we'd never seen before. It looked like something from an original Star Trek episode. The fruit is erotically enticing, but Kirk and the crew discover its deadly properties when an expendable eats one and keels over.

This thing looked so interesting that we had to buy it. The woman who sold it to me said it was a Dragon fruit grown in Florida. They used to come from Vietnam, she said. There is a market in Florida because Haitians also eat them. Tastes like kiwi, she said.

That's pretty much in line with what I read online. I even found a site devoted entirely to this otherworldly oval.

A few nights ago, my wife, daughter and I decided to give it a try. The vendor told me to peel the fruit like a banana, but the website I link to above advised cutting it half and scooping out the contents. I opted to split it down the middle with my chef's knife. It looked amazing:

But looks can be deceiving. The flesh had almost no taste. It was like eating a flavorless kiwi. As wife observed, how can something that promises so much deliver so little? Final verdict: The dragon fruit is a drag. We wouldn't try it again.

The next night, we watched the final episode of Top Chef on demand and one of the contestants used dragon fruit rinds as bowls. That's probably the best use of these fruit. It looks so cool, but tastes so bland.

No comments:

Post a Comment