was in Paris and poking around the famed Fauchon
market. The market spreads around one entire
street corner with the store divided into
Wines, Cheeses, Fish, Meats, Patés
etc. with each area almost its own store.
One of the areas was fruits and vegetables.
The store attendants really got upset with
me for picking up a fruit identified as pitahayas
and smelling it. Im sorry. Im
just a curious American who happens to know
a thing or two about fruit and Id never
seen one of these in real life before and
I was overwhelmed with curiosity and desire.
I bought a few and brought them with me on
my journey. I knew from my experience with
many other similarly constructed fruits to
leave this at room temperature and let Mother
Nature finish her work. We had gone down to
Tuscany and while it was not cold, cold, Winter
was not gone and it took my little pitahayas
almost 4 days to ripen, especially in that
they are a fruit accustomed to more temperate
climes. A day or two in the refrigerator would
have killed them!
The pitahayas I had was a little larger than
a kiwi and a little smaller than a California
avocado. The outside skin was colored like
a yellow papaya but shaped somewhat like an
atemoya. When I cut it open it revealed a
gorgeous arrangement of tiny, black sesame
looking gem-like seeds and also some swirling,
tiny, wavy, white lines that were shaped something
like disorganized finger prints but set in
partially clear, pink flesh. The aroma was
pumpkinish, but its flavor was like a mix
of delicate guava, kiwi and watermelon.
You just scoop out the fruit with a small,
serrated knife or even a grapefruit spoon
and enjoy its goodness.
I dont know when Ill see one again,
but Ill be on the look out.
Im Norman Van Aken and thats my
word on food.
© by Norman Van Aken, 2001