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Jul 2, 2008 05:37 PM

Dragon Fruits in season in Chinatown

Lots of sidewalk fruit vendors (and some storefront fruit vendors) in Chinatown have those weirdly beautiful dragon fruits on sale now, especially along Canal. I saw prices running $6 - 7 per pound. I've never tried them, so not sure whether they are best by themselves, mixed in a fruit salad, or in a pudding or other recipe that involves cooking.
Will pick one up next time I pass through.

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  1. they got no flavor. cool texture but, not worth buying. insides are beautiful w/ black seeds and if anything, texture is like . . . . I dunno a combination between maybe an unripe kiwi/apricot. more spongy than anything else.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bigjeff

      I agree that they're kind of flavorless. It's more of a textural refreshing kind of thing. Personally, it's not my kind of thing. But I know a lot of people who like them.

      I find the texture most similar to a Korean pear/jicama. It's hard to describe. But it is kind of spongy.

    2. I like them, but they really don't have any's just refreshing, with kiwi like seeds & slightly firmer texture. I just ate it plain. They are easily a pound each ...definitely not worth $6 to me.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gnomatic

        I grow dragon fruit in my backyard. They are incredibly beautiful, but they're like a blander version of a kiwi.

      2. I had this about 2 years ago during a trip to Asia. It's a very exotic tropical fruit to look at, but beyond that, it's bland and flavorless to the taste. Honestly, I wouldn't bother making a trek to Chinatown even if they were giving them away for free,

        1. I think you're missing the point of dragon fruit -- yes, it's subtly-flavoured, but the point is to put it in the refrigerator (really). Then, when it's 90 degrees and humid and you come slogging out of the subway and practically melt into the sidewalk, you go upstairs and you open the fridge and slice it open and plunge your face into it... juicy and crisp like the very best Asian pears. If you have a soggy or spongy one, you have a low-quality one and got ripped off.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            For me the problem IS the texture. Assuming we are talking about the same fruit (a bright pinky red thing about the size of a standard lemon with green or yellow "leaves" all over its surface which when cut open revela pink (or while flesh" full of tiny black seeds, the flavor (like that of its close cousin the prickly pear) is similar to that of watermelon. The problem is that, being a cactus fruit (once again like a pricky pear) I find it highly mucilagenous or to use another term, SLIMY inside. I actually tried to juice one once and the result felt like I had a throat full of phlegm. My advice it aint worth it.

            1. re: jumpingmonk

              Wow. Either I'm completely inured to slimy texture (which seems unlikely) or the cultivar or quality of the dragonfruit (pitahaya, pitaya, whatever) on the East Coast is vastly different to that grown here on the West Coast... it's always crisp and snappy when I buy it. A little, tiny bit spongy, I suppose -- it doesn't snap like an apple, more like an Asian pear -- but certainly not mucilaginous.

              Now I'm going to have to go to Chinatown and find one next time I'm in New York, just to see.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                My experience with dragon fruit in Hong Kong is the same as yours. It was Not was crispier, firmer then Kiwis...and yes a bit like a asian pear. The ones sold in Hong Kong are the ones with white flesh.

          2. Even though I don't like them, I still think you should try one. No need to buy a lb. It's not like you've got to buy an entire durian or something. Dragonfruit are relatively small. If you like it, you can buy more.