Dragon Fruit and Rambutan

12. August 2006 Ingredient + Produce Features 1

In Chinatown, I saw these cool-looking fruits they call dragon fruit. One sign had “gradon” written on a piece of cardboard. Those Chinese vendors get confused sometimes! I couldn’t get any information from them so I did my own research after buying one for $3.

They’re native to Central and South America, but they’re apparently now the number one export of Vietnam. The meat is like a kiwi’s. It’s white and fleshy with a lot of small black seeds. It tastes a little bit like kiwi but without the tartness. I tried a little bit with salt and another piece with sugar just to see the difference. With sugar, it became somewhat bitter, but salt didn’t really make a big difference. If it wasn’t too early for rum, I could imagine putting this in a blender and making a cocktail out of it. Perhaps next time.

There’s also rambutan out on the streets now. I grew up eating these in the Philippines, so I was taken aback when half a pound, about 6 pieces, cost $3.75. They taste like lychee, only the red leathery skin is surrounded by soft spikes or hair. In Malay, rambut means hair. If it’s the right time, the flesh is sweet and juicy and it comes off the seed easily when you eat it, avoiding the bitter soft bark that covers that seed. Since we’re speaking of cocktails, it’s great to have one at the bottom of a martini glass–sans the spiny skin, of course.

1 thought on “Dragon Fruit and Rambutan”

  • 1
    caitlin on October 18, 2006

    i love dragon fruit its the best

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