Friday, September 17, 2010

Dragon fruit!

Mamey sapote. Wampi. Longan. Atemoya. Dragon Fruit!

It seems like every week, a different fruit is ripening at Echo. Avocados ripen 10 months out of the year[1]. Lychees in July, mangoes in August, papayas in September, and citrus all winter! These well-known mainstays of the American fruit palate are accompanied by a myriad of lesser-known tropical fruits, many of which are new to me! Here's one:

Dragon fruit, also known as Pitaya, is the fruit of a night-blooming cactus (Hylocereus undatus) probably native to central America. It is widely cultivated in southeast asia, and can occasionally be found in supermarkets around the world, though not cheaply. Someone told me these sell for $6 a pop in New York City markets!

Andrew shares some dragon fruit from his rainforest.

Inside, they look much like a white kiwi, complete with lots of small, black, seeds. The taste and texture is surprisingly reminiscent of that fruit as well, though not nearly as tart.

I love the shape and colors of this fruit. It reminds of something Theodor Geisel would have come up with.

Laura-Katherine models her new line of fruit-inspired earrings.


[1] No single variety has this extended of a ripening period. However, by growing a range of varieties, the Avocado season can be extended to include most of the year. This is especially useful to small farmers, who don't benefit much from large harvests at the peak of market saturation, but could earn a reliable income by bringing fruit to market throughout the year.

'Brogdon' is a popular cold-hardy avocado that ripens Aug-Sep. Mmmm.

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