Now it so happens that I am hardly what one would call a ‘foodie.’ I have my few regular dishes that I enjoy, and pretty much stick to those at all times. So when I had to research and write a 1000-word article on ‘exotic foods’ for a magazine, I did not see that as an exciting task. But three days into my research for the story, and I must say, all the fancy fruit names have succeeded in arousing my interest in the subject.
We are talking names such as avocado, rambutan, dragon fruit, kiwi, carambola, passion fruit, rose apple, ackee… you get the drift. I am proud of having visited a passion farm and tasted the fruit – hardly anyone I know has even seen the fruit. And yes, having had a passion fruit flavoured cocktail doesn’t count here. Well, so that’s one exotic fruit down. As far as carambola goes, I have vague memories from school-days of having enjoyed slices of it, sprinkled with salt. That’s two down. Not bad for a non-foodie like me.
But then suddenly on the third day of my research I felt a strong urge to taste these fruits. I knew we got some of these at the local supermarket, and so, off I raced to their food section in the evening. On the shelves sat dragon fruit, kiwi and rambutan. Bursting with information on these fruits, I grabbed the plastic container of peeled dragon fruit, as that’s the best-looking amongst the lot. (Talking about looks, rambutan is a hairy Malay fruit, and looks isn’t really kiwi’s department either, so…)
I was mighty happy to hold the container in my hand, but not quite happy when I saw the prices. I calculated I was going to be able to afford to buy only one of the fruits to begin my tryst with fine food.
Back home, I carefully pulled out the thin plastic sheet covering the container and dug my fork in one of the many small chunks of dragon fruit. The expectations were high, trust me, after all I had read. “This better be good” went the auto-chanting in my mind.
Well, it wasn’t. If it was anything at all, it was bland. Zero taste. And that, with seedy pulp isn’t exactly a savoury combination. I couldn’t be more disappointed. I got a mix of salt and pepper powder from the kitchen and sprinkled it abundantly on a couple of fruit pieces. Was my attempt to flavour-up dragon fruit in vain? The answer is a sad, yes.
For now, the pieces lie in my fridge. I will look up some recipes on the web to try and use the words ‘dragon fruit’ and ‘tasty’ in the same sentence.
More on my trials with the fruit later.