Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pitaya, Otherwise Known as Dragon Fruit

Pitaya, aka Dragon Fruit, is a beautiful fruit, also called a strawberry pear from cactus. The exterior is brilliantly colored, but the interior is white flesh speckled with black edible seeds. Many people describe it as similar to a kiwi for that reason.
The interior flesh is mild tasting, somewhat like a melon and is the edible part of the fruit.
Look for healthy looking fruit that has bright even colored skin. Some speckling on the skin is acceptable, but too much speckling indicates that the fruit is overripe. If the "leaves" are brown or the stump is brittle, the fruit is overripe. To tell if it is ripe, hold the fruit and gently press the skin with your finger. It should have a very slight give, like ripe kiwi. When it has that give, it's time to prepare it. If it's hard, let it sit on the counter for a few days to ripen. You don't want it to be mushy.
Wash the dragon fruit and dry it. Place it on a cutting board and slice it in half with a sharp knife.
With a large spoon, scoop out the white flesh. 
You do not want to scoop any of the skin. But, if you do get some skin, cut it off as you don't want to eat it.
Slice the flesh and eat plain or in fruit salad. The flesh can be pureed in a blender and used in drinks.
I love the brilliant colors of the dragon fruit next to the bright berries.

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