Each time I walked by the dragon fruit display at Chuck’s Produce for the past year, I imagined it tasting like the love child of a mango and papaya with hints of pineapple and kiwi. And yet I denied myself this pleasure because it’s three bucks a fruit. When I caught myself using this ridiculous logic a couple of days ago, I stopped and asked the produce man a couple of questions. He pulled out his pocketknife and cut me off a slice to eat. I briefly considered the cleanliness of his pocketknife and stuffed a bite of the white flesh speckled with black seeds into my mouth. It tasted bland and slightly crunchy. My eyes squinted into a question and he told me that it wasn’t ripe enough yet and that the fruit would ripen with time.
I bought my gorgeous dragon fruit and sat it on my kitchen window sill. Once there were white speckles of mold on it, I cut it open, just like the produce man had instructed. I chopped it up, sprinkled fleur de sel on it, took a picture and sampled it. And it tasted like sweet Styrofoam with crunchy seeds. Such a disappointment. I can imagine using it in a salsa or a fruit salad, but the next time that I buy a dragon fruit it will be to decorate a fruit platter. So, the next time I walk by it in the store, I’ll imagine that mango papaya flavored fruit and save myself three bucks.