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dragon fruit

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pat hammond Dec 5, 2000 02:32 PM

I subscribe to a newsletter out of San Diego about fresh produce. I use it mainly for reference. I read about this dragon fruit today and wonder if anyone has actually eaten one. It called pitaya in Mexico and also strawberry pear. It's as big as a grapefruit with pulp that maybe eaten with a spoon or made into juice. Sounds delicious! pat

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    magnolia RE: pat hammond Dec 6, 2000 03:45 AM

    Yes - I've had the dragon fruit in Vietnam - along with the much-maligned durian (which because if its smell, is banned in a lot of places). The dragon fruit is very striking looking -- looks great on a fruit display, but in my humble opinion, the flavour is too subtle to warrant eating it on its own. It is nice in a fruit salad.

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      christina z RE: pat hammond Dec 6, 2000 06:09 AM

      From your description, it sounds like a
      Cherimoya (sp?) which is indeed a delicious
      fruit. BTW is there a Latin name for
      dragon fruit?

      17 Replies
      1. re: christina z
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        magnolia RE: christina z Dec 6, 2000 08:34 AM

        I think cherimoya is commonly known as a 'custard apple'

        The dragon fruit has its own home page!

        See below...

        Link: http://www.nt.gov.au/dpif/pubcat/agno...

        1. re: magnolia
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          pat hammond RE: magnolia Dec 6, 2000 08:45 AM

          Thanks very much. Isn't it the most amazing looking fruit? I'd never seen a picture of the actual plant before. It looks very much like my Christmas cactus!
          This produce website I mentioned says they are becoming sought after in this country. Perhaps someone out there will see one, buy it, and report back. Thanks again, one and all. pat

          1. re: pat hammond
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            magnolia RE: pat hammond Dec 6, 2000 09:21 AM

            If anyone can get it for you, mailorder, they can...or maybe they can point you in the right direction. Or a good Asian market?

            1. re: magnolia
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              Sirina RE: magnolia Dec 6, 2000 11:21 AM

              I bought a dragon fruit from a Vietnamese market in the DC suburbs about 2 months ago. It looked just like the picture on the dragon fruit web page. The woman at the store was not able to tell me anything about it.

              I am a big tropical fruit lover, so I was excited, but perhaps this specimen was not ripe, because the flavor and smell were . . . not much. Lots of seeds, not much flesh, and the taste not worth the trouble of all the seeds. But judging from the web site, this is not typical.

              1. re: Sirina
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                magnolia RE: Sirina Dec 6, 2000 11:52 AM

                yep that's it...not much flavour even when ripe, just sort of funky to look at and take apart.

                1. re: magnolia
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                  Joan Winston RE: magnolia Dec 6, 2000 12:43 PM

                  They serve dragon fruit at the breakfast buffet in the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong and they called it "Vietnamese Dragon Fruit". It was gorgeous to look at; a bright red rind and creamy white flesh and black seeds, but it was disappointing to eat - not really much there. The mangosteins, on the other hand, were to die for. They don't serve durian in any of the South East Asian hotels we stayed in. Except at Raffles in Singapore where there was a durian cake at at the lunch buffet. I took a piece and everybody at the table complained about the terrible stench.

                  1. re: Joan Winston
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                    Pepper RE: Joan Winston Dec 7, 2000 11:46 AM

                    In Central America, especially Nicaragua, refrescos made from pitahaya juice are pretty common--though as noted, the vivid pepto-pink color is vastly more dramatic than the mildly acid taste.

                    1. re: Pepper
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                      emily RE: Pepper Dec 7, 2000 03:49 PM

                      i had a dragon fruit once in france; the grocery store was having a big tropical fruit promotion. this was about five years ago and i have thought about and longed for that fruit ever since. france must have completely different fruit import law than the u.s.; it was the creamiest, most subtle, most lush fruit i've ever eaten.

                      maybe it's a distorted food memory, more connected with my life circumstances at the time than to the fruit itself. reading all these somewhat negative posts is causing me to doubt slightly my memory of this fruit.

                      1. re: emily
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                        Roger Lee RE: emily Apr 12, 2001 12:08 AM

                        Keep the faith, Emily. When I was last in Paris, we stayed at the Hotel Madeleine Plaza, which is a completely ordinary, pleasant little hotel which happens to be located directly between Hédiard and Fauchon. On the first morning we were there, I went out in the AM and picked up a selection of brioches from Fauchon and two different kinds of Pithayas from Hédiard. They were delicious, lush, subtle, juicy, delicately sweet with a hint of exotic tropical fruit flavors. A little like a kiwi but with better texture and a subtle acidity rather than the sharpness we have all come to associate with the brown and fuzzy fruit. They were QUITE expensive, though!

              2. re: magnolia
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                bryan RE: magnolia Dec 7, 2000 02:23 AM

                Nope. Sitting right next to the catalog and no such animal in there.
                But I'm fairly sure I saw one in Chinatown here in Chicago. I'll report back on this one next week, after my monthly sojurn.

                1. re: magnolia
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                  rjka RE: magnolia Dec 7, 2000 07:53 AM

                  Frieda's in California was a leader years ago in importing unusual fruits and vegatables, many of which are common today. I used to order gift baskets from them. They probably have a website.

              3. re: magnolia
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                emily RE: magnolia Dec 6, 2000 09:35 AM

                the elusive custard apple! i've been looking for this fruit for years. i love it! i was beginning to think it was a mangosteen, based on some talk on the california boards. i'm so glad to have finally found it! thank you!

                1. re: magnolia
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                  John Picone RE: magnolia Feb 20, 2001 08:00 PM

                  Hi, I'm trying to locate a source within Australia of
                  hylocereus undatus, ie., the one developed by the Vietnamese gov. which is self pollinating, is more oval
                  than round, is a deep redy pink, has a delicious sweet
                  flesh & can weigh 600g or more when well grown.
                  If you can help, please email me as would love to buy
                  some plants.
                  Thanks

                  1. re: John Picone
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                    magnolia RE: John Picone Feb 21, 2001 04:49 AM

                    John - my post that you replied to has a link to the Australian government dept in charge of horticulture. Maybe they can help you? Click on the 'in reply to' link and it will get you back to the message with the link. Good luck!

                    1. re: magnolia
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                      susan RE: magnolia Apr 7, 2001 09:06 PM

                      The dragon fruit is grown at Innisfail
                      in North Queesland and marketed in
                      Brisbane Qld. from a firm called exotico
                      and their web site is www.exotico.com.au
                      Hope that is of help to all.

                  2. re: magnolia
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                    derckel RE: magnolia Mar 19, 2001 01:56 PM

                    J'aimerai avoir des informations sur hylocereus undatus au niveau de sa propagation in vitro(sujet de mémoire).
                    Merci infiniment
                    Aurélie derckel

                  3. re: christina z
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                    Jim Leff RE: christina z Dec 6, 2000 10:06 AM

                    dragon fruit is very similar to cherimoya, but not quite. in spanish, it's Pitahaya

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                    Kate RE: pat hammond Dec 6, 2000 09:22 AM

                    Would you be willing to share the name of the newsletter? I would love to try some.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Kate
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                      pat hammond RE: Kate Dec 6, 2000 09:28 AM

                      Sure. Specialtyproduce.com

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                      Lauren RE: pat hammond Dec 6, 2000 09:28 AM

                      This is info. is possibly out of date, but when I was at Ideya (West Broadway between Broome & Grand Sts, NYC) about six or seven months ago, they used cherimoya in their fruit salad. It is pretty subtle as Magnolia pointed out, although very pleasant. I could see it making a great fruit shake. Perhaps a call to Ideya would get info. on a distributor?

                      1. w
                        WILLIAM KITCHEN RE: pat hammond Mar 23, 2001 09:02 PM

                        Yes we ( myself and my family ) have eaten the dragon fruit. It is one of our favorite fruits with only bananas before it. It is a great taste it's sweet with only a small hint of sour. Snapple actually make a drink with it now it is called Fire. It is a energy/vitamin drink. It too is very good I recomend both.

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                          Murib RE: pat hammond Apr 11, 2001 08:55 PM

                          There are actually many varieties of the Pitaya (Pitahaya) fruit.
                          I've actually eaten about 5 of them, and they are the best fruit I've ever tasted

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Murib
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                            david geliebter RE: Murib Aug 29, 2001 08:54 PM

                            I just came back from Viet Nam and had dragon fruit .The name in Vietnamese is Qua Thanh Long .

                            Has anyone found it in the U.S. ?

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