I am living with my wife inside a tiny rice-farmer village in the district Loeng Nok Tha, province Yasothon, Thailand. When we go to the market in Loeng Nok Tha together – this does not happen every day – I can see the curious fruit that looks like a blowfish mated with a Venus fly trap?
The dragonfruit, also called the pitaya or strawberry pear – and in Thai ” Kaew Mang Korn ” – , is one of those strange-looking things you see in a market and just have to try. Here in Thailand’s North-East, dragonfruit is sold at almost every market and served as dessert at many higher-end restaurants.
Dragonfruit is also happily consumed in Vietnam, Malaysia, and many other sub-tropical places.
They liven up your grocery bag like nothing else, a bright spindlyfucshia thing amidst a sea of cardboard boxes and plastic cartons. The flesh of the fruit, dotted with little seeds, looks and tastes a bit like kiwi. Some people think dragonfruit tastes a bit bland, but that may depend on where you buy them. (There are bland and tasty versions of every kind of fruit.)
Dragonfruit with the pink flesh tend be sweeter than the ones with white flesh. But I’ve also had sweet versions of the latter, like this one sent all the way up to a supermarket in Beijing.
You can find dragonfruit jams and wine, and use them in homemade salsas or even mooncakes. My favorite way of consuming of dragonfruit is diced up in a fruit salad, perhaps with clementine slices and grapes. Or simply cut the whole fruit in half and eat it one delicious scoop at a time.
I may try out the salsa recipe at a later date though.