New Fruit For a New Year

September 13, 2010

Last week was the celebration of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah. As I mentioned around this time last year, one of the traditions of the holiday is to enjoy a new fruit. Last year I brought my family two fruits that were new to us: the rambutan and mamey sapote. It’s not so easy to find a new fruit every year, but I managed to find something unique this year: Pitaya, aka dragon fruit.

pitaya dragon fruitThe dragon fruit come from the cactus family and is native to Mexico and Central and South America, but it is also cultivated in Asian countries, Hawaii, and Israel. As you can see in the photo above, the inside flesh of the fruit is white with black seeds, and its texture is often compared to a kiwi. Nutritionally, one medium dragon fruit has about 60 calories, 9 g carbohydrates, and 1 g fiber. It also contains a small amount of unsaturated fat from the edible seeds. The red-skinned variety, like the one above, is also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C.

The easiest way to eat the dragon fruit is to slice it in half lengthwise (as shown above) and scoop out the flesh. If you’re serving it to guests you can use the shell of the fruit (which should not be eaten) to hold slices of the flesh. To do this, slice the flesh of the fruit and then replace them in the shell to serve.

My family and I didn’t find the fruit to have much flavor on its own, but I imagine it would be good in smoothies!

Have you ever tried dragon fruit? What new fruit have you eaten lately?

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  1. That is such a great tradition, Jessica. I just recently tried the dragon fruit recently – it caught my eye at a farmers market. Very interesting. It was worth trying, but I do like the sapote much better! : )