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Articles - Gourmet Pleasures:

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Cooking with dragon fruit

Dragon fruit taste sweet but refreshing, like a mix of pear, kiwi and strawberry. They’re best eaten raw and icecold. Cut them into fruit salads, or make them into sorbets and sweet desserts. Add chunks of dragon fruit to cocktails, milk shakes and green smoothies, or to leafy salads, ham, cheese or fish. Some people make dragon fruit jam, or even juice or syrup.

Origin, appearance and preparation

The dragon fruit (Pitahaya) is a type of cactus that originated in Central America, but today they’re grown in many countries, including China, Vietnam and Israel. Dragon fruit can be up to 12 cm long and weigh up to 500 g. They’re oval or egg-shaped and the type you see for sale most frequently has a bright pink skin. Inside the flesh is white or greyish with black, edible seeds scattered throughout. Don’t eat the skin, instead top and tail the fruit and peel it off. Alternatively cut the dragon fruit in half and scoop out the flesh.

Health benefits, quality and storage

Dragon fruits promote good digestion, but eating too much can have a laxative effect. They are full of vitamins including B, C and E and minerals like iron, phosphorus and calcium. Press gently to check whether a dragon fruit is ripe – it should give slightly as you press. Avoid fruit that are too soft. They will keep for a few days at room temperature. Stand them upright to avoid pressure blotches.

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de