|White-flesh Dragon Fruit.|
When Frieda’s first started marketing Dragon Fruit many years ago, we called it by a different name. The fruit was introduced to us as Pitaya or Pitahaya. Pitaya, aka Dragon Fruit, is native to Mexico, Central and Latin America. It also has been cultivated in Asia (Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam, to name a few). In those Asian countries, it is known as Dragon Pearl and Fire Dragon Fruit…thus the name Dragon Fruit. A few years ago I also learned that the Vietnamese name for the fruit is Thanh Long, which translates to “blue dragon.” “Blue” refers to the cooling properties of the fruit.
In the United States, Dragon Fruit is grown both in Southern California and Florida. And of course, it grows in tropical Hawaii, but cannot currently be brought to the mainland due to agricultural restrictions.
|Pink and magenta-flesh Dragon Fruit|
So what inspired me to write about Dragon Fruit today? Well, earlier this week, The New York Times ran an article featuring Dragon Fruit, “A Fruit with a Future.” You can read it here.
It’s so interesting how a single story can influence people and purchases. That story in The New York Times will probably cause many more supermarkets across the country to order Dragon Fruit. Produce buyers know that curious consumers, after reading that article, will be on the lookout for Dragon Fruit for weeks to come.
And of course, chefs everywhere are already familiar with Dragon Fruit but may be inspired to include it on fruit platters, in appetizers or as a colorful garnish, more than ever.
If you get to get taste a Dragon Fruit, let us know what you think of it, by posting a comment on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FriedasSpecialtyProduce