Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fresh & Local: Exotic Tropical Fruits

I call these "Dr. Suess fruit", the showy Dragon Fruit (pictured here) and the comical rambutan and are both available at Mana Foods, grown on the Big Island.

Rambutan in the lychee's hairy cousin and it's name is derived from the Malay word rambut, which literally means hairy caused by the 'hair' that covers this fruit.

Dragon fruit, also known as fire dragon and dragon pearl, is the fruit of the night blooming Cereus. This plant is often seen in Hawaii with beautiful white flowers, called moonflower or Queen of the Night, but no fruit. This is because there aren't many pollinators to help the plant bear fruit. In it's native areas, the Cereus is pollinated by nocturnal creatures such as bats & moths. But, for cultivating purposes in Hawaii, the trees are often hand pollinated because we do not have fruit bats here in Hawaii, as they do in Central America.

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