What is purple on the outside, white with small black polka dots in the inside and is called huǒ lóng guǒ in Chinese? Insert funny pun with a reference to Chris Chistie’s hidden body parts here. No, you crazy kooks, it is a dragon fruit, also known as pitaya or pitahaya. This fruit of of the night blooming cactus is native to South America and subsequently imported to and grown in many parts of Asia. Lucky for us, it can be found at Bloomfield’s East-West Market, as well as Kings in Montclair.
This intensely colorful fruit is packed with all kinds of healthy nutrients. Rich in antioxidants, the benefits attributed to dragon fruit include acting as a cancer preventative, preventing memory loss, reducing blood glucose levels, lowering blood pressure, and preventing the formation of carcinogenic free-radicals (I say lock up the radicals). It is also packed with vitamin C.
Simply cut the fruit in half, scoop the white flesh out with a spoon, then pop it into the blender. Now add some fresh strawberries and one to one and a half cups of vanilla yogurt. Try using Greek yogurt for a thicker consistency. Blend it quickly. For an impressive presentation pour it back into the hallowed out shell.
The final taste is sweet, rich, and custard-like. The presentation in the purple shell would make a fantastic Valentine’s Day dessert.