Every time we visit Chef Bill’s hometown of Rochester, N.Y. we make at least one pilgrammage to Wegmans. To call it a supermarket is understated and almost irreverent. I consider it to be one of the most smoothly running and dazzingly stocked purveyors of all things edibly good, plus wellness items like essential oils, vegan protein mixes, and yoga mats. It’s at Wegman’s that we treasure-hunt for things like caramel-colored bricks of Getost cheese, gluten-free fusilli, fresh figs, quart containers of vegetarian chili, and, as was the case this week, Dragon Fruit.
It’s been on our radar to try for a while, in large part, because of its intriguing pink exterior. So we placed one tenderly in our cart, along with a half-dozen green figs that had just landed from California. A few hours ago, as I prepped the morning fruit platter, I noticed we had a handful of plums from the farmers market at the perfet stage of ripeness. Luckily, there are no rules regarding fruit platters – anything fresh is all good in my book – and what a delightful way to begin the day.
On the advice of my food and fitness mentor, Terri Lange, and my nutritionist Nancy Guberti, I eat fruit on an empty stomach in the morning. As much as I love the a.m. caffeine rush of an espresso-almond milk latte, fresh fruit in the morning is one of the best ways to wake up the body and get the metabolic engines off to a good start. It’s also tremendously cleansing for the digestive track – as long as you don’t throw a protein or starch into the mix…that’s when you’ll start to get (pardon the candor) back up that can lead to gas, bloating, and other stomach issues. I’m not saying your health will go to weed if you eat fruit throughout the day with other foods, people do it all the time. But this particular scenario is optimal. If you can make this part of your routine, odds are you’ll feel (and probably look) better and your body will thank you.
Now back to the dragon fruit. As the Wegmans cashier instructed us, we peeled back the rose-colored, leafy exterior which revealed a juicy, beet-colord interior speckled with black seeds. The taste was pleasantly sweet and mild. Not as delectable as a mango or guava, but still pretty good. The Dragon Fruit is said to be high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Its taste and texture was similar to a kiwi. At $6 a pop, we won’t be doing Dragon Fruit too often, but I must admit, it’s a fascinating departure from apples.