Sunday, 17 August 2008

Dragons: better eaten than chased.

I had a new experience recently. I got to eat a dragon! On one of my evening jaunts to Namdhari's, the veggie shop down the road (I count these jaunts as "my evening walk"), I discovered the most exotic-looking fruit I had ever seen. The teller informed me that it was a dragon fruit. It certainly looked like it might have been born from one of these mythical creatures, with its rich colours and "scales".
Of course, I had to buy it! I had never eaten a dragon before. My only previous experience with a dragon had been in my juvenile delinquent days, when "chasing the dragon" (junkie jargon) was the thing to do. Oh - and a few years ago, my Jungian therapist recommended visualising a dragon who would go with me and protect me, whenever I got panicky walking down the road, which, at the time, I found hard to do. Walking, I mean. I had no trouble visualising the dragon, and took many pleasant walks after that, leaving in my wake many oily men with singed bottoms!

The dragon fruit turned out to be just as delightful! I googled to discover that it is a native of Mexico, and also cultivated in Vietnam and Taiwan. It's called a pitaya, and is the fruit of a flowering vine-like cactus hylocereus. This plant has large white fragrant flowers that only bloom at night!

If you ever come across this fruit, don't miss the opportunity to try it. The pulp is firm, with tiny crunchy black seeds - somewhat remeniscent of a kiwi fruit, but with a sweeter, gentler taste. Just cut it across, and scoop out the insides with a spoon.

The dragon fruit won't be the cheapest fruit on the shelf, but it's worth it. After all, how many of us can say we've eaten a dragon?
P.S. the little bird is Gobi, who lives with her grandparents - an absolutely amazing character full of personality!


bint battuta said...

I love the title of this post! The fruit looks a bit scary, but your description is so good that I will be sure to try it one day.

Return_to_the_Source said...

I have seen these only a few times, I will make sure I get one when I stumble across one again.

The inside is not what I imagined at all. I thought they would be more like pommigranates!

Jennifer said...

Wow! I have never heard of a dragon fruit, and look forward to having the chance to try one!

Mary L said...

Thanks for the information I'll have to look for it somewhere. Maybe one of our "specialty" shops here has it.