If you've read my book Fruitflesh, you know I have had a habit of picking up "mystery fruits" at the grocery store. I thought I had exhausted all of the mysteriousness of the produce section, but today, at Trader Joe's, I found dried dragon fruit. Whole, the fruit looks like a pink-tinged artichoke, but dried slices of it look like pucks of congealed bird poop. Not the grayish-whitish kind; the purplish kind, dotted with seeds. This may not sound very appetizing, but the color is amazing--a deep rich magenta, like beets. The seeds are small and black, tear shaped, about the size of sesame seeds.
I wish I could say the fruit is transcendent, hauntingly sweet, but it is as chewy and gamy as shoe leather (not that I've eaten shoe leather. I've only seen Charlie Chaplin eat it. Then again, I heard those shoes were made of fruit leather, so maybe they did taste like dragon fruit.) It is probably the least tasty thing I have eaten in years.
I haven't given up on dragon fruit, though. I'm sure that when it's fresh, it's incredible. For now, it's still a mystery fruit to me.