25 August 2008

Dragon Fruit

A few weeks back a Pune daily carried reports of the 'Dragon' fruit that farmers located on outskirts of Pune were growing for exports. What caught my eyes was the colour! The dark pink skin stood out against the grimy newsprint and I was keen to take a look.
Finally yesterday I found the Dragon at my fruit shop. At Rs 100 a kg I was a bit hesitant to try it. What if it had a peculiar taste or horrible smell? Seeing my hesitation the guy condescended to let me take one piece (that was 500 gms) and I came home with my trophy. The family was most suspicious to say the least of this new addition to the weekly shopping basket
I had detailed instructions on how to 'slay' the Dragon as it were! The dark pink armour had scales and seemed really tough so I got out my most evil looking knife. Yet to my surprise it cut through easily (almost like cutting a papaya) and no thanks to the knife mind you! The inside was pure white pulp with a speckling of black seeds like 'black til' or 'kalonji'. The skin is not edible I was told!
I sliced it into rings like a pineapple and viola my family looked on with some trepidation at the unusual desert for that meal. The Dragon is almost devoid of odour and very tender. One bite and you get the impression of eating a crunchy 'litchee'. The pulp is extremely watery and sweet.
On the whole, we managed to clean the plate without much trouble.
The fruit is from the Cactus family, my research shows. Click here for its nutritive value and here to know more about it.
I believe Pune farmers are exporting the Dragon fruit. I had read about and seen rose farms that were doing the same but this is a first for me.
All the best to our entrepreneurs!

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