So, I brought you How to eat an Ugli Fruit, now we have had a chance to try a dragon fruit!
My sister recently took a trip to Disney World, and the gift that she brought back for Elizabeth was a tiny dragon fruit plant, which came in a sterile enclosed jar and living off of some kind of clear gel. Elizabeth’s plant has since been planted into potting soil and now resides in a plastic bag to resemble a humid hot house. This week, we will poke holes in the bag so that fresh oxygen can move into it, and then over the course of two weeks, we will gradually make them bigger and bigger until it is opened up to the environment. At that point, our little dragon fruit plant will live just like any other plant here in the house, the whole method just makes it’s transition into living outside of the “womb” a little less stressful. I think of it kind of like acclimating a new fish into your fish tank, where you have to leave it in the plastic bag for a while so the water temperatures become equal, then move it into the water but in a holding tank, etc.
Anyhow, our little plant seems to be doing ok, and while out grocery shopping at my favorite store (Wegman’s) the other day, I happened to find fresh dragon fruit for sale and decided that I had to get one! At $7.99/lb, this baby wasn’t cheap, but to try something new, I’d pay almost anything!
I think my dragon fruit was at it’s peak in freshness the day I bought it, but we didn’t eat it for a day or two, and by then the tips became brown as you can see in the picture. Even so, the inside was still juicy.
I had to turn to trusty YouTube again to learn how to eat a dragon fruit. Would you believe there are lots and lots of videos on how to eat foods, and for fresh foods like this, it’s usually some guy just showing you how to cut it and then eating in front of the camera! That’s not very appealing to me, but hey, whatever. The link I followed was How to…Eat Dragon Fruit by livelife365.
So, the video I found said to just cut and eat raw. The gentleman on it also suggested scooping out the flesh with a spoon and then using the rind as a bowl, which Elizabeth was ecstatic about. With our instructions learned, I sliced the fruit and prepared one half. Elizabeth wanted to try, so she scooped her own fruit out of the rind – I sometimes can’t believe how grown up she’s getting! I then sliced it right in the ‘bowl.’
As far as the flavor of the dragon fruit, well, here again, it is an exotic fruit, and so would be picked pre-peak ripeness, and thus, had little flavor. As I said, it was juicy, but it didn’t really taste like anything to me. The texture is similar to a kiwi, which, with no flavor, kind of turned me off, so I chose not to eat it. Both Elizabeth and Paul ate quite a bit of their ‘bowls-full’ and what was left over, I turned into a mega-fruit smoothie with left over star fruit, grapes, kiwi, and frozen strawberries and blueberries in an apple juice base. Yum, didn’t need any sugar for that, though it was kind of thick because of the grape skins and all the seeds.
It’s really an important “anchor,” as Jill Frankel Hauser calls them, for Elizabeth to make the connection between her humble little plant and what the beautiful grown fruit will be if she takes proper care of her gift, just like any other anchor between educational subjects and real life, which is how a person – not only a child – learns how things are applied and gives the learning meaning.
Share your thoughts: What are some fun “anchors” you have explored with your child?