The Joy of Discovery…at the grocery store

Earlier this year Spence and I traveled back to Aruba. Unlike our prior visit, this time the endless breakfast buffet included the elusive dragonfruit.

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The splendor of Passion and Dragon Fruits enjoyed each morning – bliss!

I’m obsessed with the Food Network and have seen dragon fruit pop up now and again yet had never encountered it in the flesh (a little fruit pun, couldn’t help myself).  After gorging on it during our trip, I feared I might not see it again for a long time. Upon returning in June, I stalked the produce departments of every grocery and specialty food store in a one hour radius; not one to be found.  I gave up and moved on.

Not unlike finding a good man, the minute I stopped looking – there is was!  Fat magenta beauties with just enough “give” when softly pressed to make me certain that they were ripe.  I bought three (though I considered buying all of them).

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I was giddy with my discovery. I called Spence from the parking lot. Not home. I called Mom exclaiming “I’ve found dragon fruit!”  She was happy for me (what can you say when someone is that excited about a piece of fruit, right?)

These were perfectly ripe, creamy and refreshing, a cross between kiwi and pear in flavor.  They are simply beautiful – and a whole dragon fruit is zero points per Weight Watchers!!  What??? As if I needed more reason to love them.

I’ve since learned that dragon fruit is a type of cactus and comes in three colors – 2 shades of pink and the other yellow.  They are a good source of Vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, fiber and antioxidants.

The grocery tag on those I purchased says USA though they are mostly grown in Southeast Asia, Mexico, Central and South America and Israel.

Here is a mouth-watering dragon fruit collage for your viewing enjoyment with photos culled from Pinterest!

 

 

 

Travels in Aruba – part six

For this next installment, as promised, I’m going to talk about the daily breakfast included with our stay at Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort. Spence teases me about photographing my food when I travel “Laura’s Eating and Drinking Vacation Diary” as he calls it.  But come on, if you’re a foodie it makes sense!

At home, I’m lucky if I can get Spence to have the occasional yogurt for breakfast.  He just isn’t a breakfast guy – until we get to Bucuti.  

Serving till 11:00, we stroll down around 10:00, are greeted by Martin who seats us (we prefer inside).  Then comes the decisions – what to choose?

  • eggs to order – Nancy or Marjorie (depending on the day) will prepare eggs expertly including omelets – a favorite of Spence’s
  • Bacon and sausage
  • Potatoes – different varieties each day
  • Specialty items that change daily – some of which were eggs benedict, arepas, red beans and rice, empanadas style meat filled little goodies were among my favorites
  • 4 kinds of juice plus fruit or veggie infused water
  • 2 -3 kinds of meat – ham, pastrami, mortadella to name a few and 2-3 kinds of cheeses – always including gouda
  • smoked salmon or smoked trout with cream cheese, onions and capers
  • fresh fruit platters – multiple varieties each day including: pineapple, papaya, watermelon, cantelope, honeydew, mango, dragon fruit and passion fruit as well as bananas, apples, kiwi and orange on the other side of the buffet
  • easily eight types of bread as well as pastries, croissants, bagels, english muffins, banana bread and pound cake with an assortment of jams, spreads and butter
  • Yogurt and topping of granola, dried fruits
  • Cereals (3-4 varieties)

I’ve probably forgotten something but I think you get the drift.  Amazing.  This year I got to try dragon and passion fruit, both of which I’m totally smitten. Succulent, perfectly fresh and delicious, I had to stop short of gorging on these, such a treat.  With attentive, friendly service from Nakarid, Ricardo and Lina, it is the best way to start each day when staying at Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort.

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The inside of a Passion Fruit, I found it easiest to eat with a fork and the seeds and flesh just lift out. The seeds are edible in both Dragon and Passion fruit.  Now the challenge, can I find these in Michigan?  I hope so!