Spring is in the air, or close by. My taste buds are yearning for summer fruits and produce and everything that comes with it: sandals, a pretty pedicure, sleeveless summer dresses, tank tops, and trips to the farmer’s market.
This will be my first spring and summer living in Germany and I’m already gearing up for those open air markets and the warmer weather. Okay back to reality in chilly Germany. I’m shopping at the local supermarket in my warm thick socks, winter boots, long coat, and scarf (not quite the vision of spring). I swing around my cute little mini shopping cart and I see these bright fuchsia odd looking fruits. My eyeballs quickly scan for a description and I read, “Dragon Fruit, $3.49 each”. Okay now I’m really curious. This wildly exotic fish looking fruit costs how much? Now I have to buy one, take it home, find out what it is, and better yet taste it. The anticipation is more than I can bear.
Once home I quickly jump on the internet and discover that dragon fruit, also known as pitaya in Spanish is part of the cacti family. Pictures are plastered all over the internet and there are mixed reviews about the taste and origin. Hmmm, I look quizzically at the fruit and now knowing what it looks like inside (having seen all the pictures online) I decide to wait to open it until I can figure out what to do with it. How long was that you ask? Oh heck, it wasn’t long…I paid a mint for it and I couldn’t wait to taste it. On my search I also found out that dragon fruit is quite nutritional. It is said to date back to the Central American Aztecs of the 13th century but you can now find it in several places like Southeast Asia, Mexico, Israel, and South America.
The next day as I was cutting open a kiwi I got an idea for the dragon fruit…thank goodness for inspiration because at this point my husband was dying to have me plunge into the darn fruit already. He was even looking for recipes online. The day I bought the kiwi and dragon fruit I also picked up some mangos. So you guessed it, I thought about putting all three together for an easy and tropical salad. Not only is this salad a sight for sore eyes, it’s also a great side dish or dessert and perfect for the Lenten season.
When I finally cut into the the fruit and quickly shoved a piece into my mouth it did have the same texture as a kiwi but not as sweet. I kept waiting for something more exciting but alas, nada, nothing. Once I mixed it around with the chopped kiwi and mangos it picked up some of their flavor. I keep hearing that there is a different variety that is pink on the inside and is somewhat sweeter. Now where can I get my hand on one of those?
Have you ever tasted a dragon fruit?
Ensalada de Pitaya, Kiwi, y Mango (Dragon Fruit, Kiwi, and Mango Salad)
Yield: Serves 4
1 dragon fruit
2 kiwi, peeled and diced
1 mango, peeled and diced
Split the dragon fruit in half. While still in the peel, cube only the flesh, while still in the outer peel and scoop out with a spoon and place in a medium mixing bowl. Take the other half of the fruit, cut two slices to use as a garnish. Cube the remainder of the dragon fruit, scoop out, and add it to the other fruit.
Add the diced kiwi and mango. Toss gently. Spoon fruit into four separate serving dishes. Garnish with half a slice of dragon fruit and mint.
Written by Veronica / Photos by Veronica