Dragon fruit is a beau­ti­ful, exotic fruit grown in South­east Asia, Mex­ico, Cen­tral and South Amer­ica, and Israel.

While not com­mon­place, they seem to be show­ing up a lot lately in gro­cery stores across the nation.

This trop­i­cal cac­tus fruit is del­i­cately sweet with a mildly acidic fla­vor, rem­i­nis­cent of water­melon, cac­tus pear, and kiwi.
The fruit comes in three col­ors; two have a pink outer skin, but with two dif­fer­ent col­ored flesh (one white and the other has a red inte­rior. The third one has an exte­rior yel­low skin with white flesh.

All three types have tiny, edi­ble black seeds (very sim­i­lar to those found inside Kiwi). The seeds should be chewed in order to be fully digested.

Less well known as other pow­er­house fruits, dragon fruit qual­i­fies as a Super­food. Some­times known as pitaya, this trop­i­cal delight is giv­ing acai a run for its money. Com­pa­nies like Pitaya Plus sell juices, smoothie packs, and even pitaya bowls.

Read more: Meet the Dragon →

Before we know it, Cal­i­for­nia grown cit­rus fruits will have to make room for cher­ries, berries and stone fruits. For now, the plea­sure is in cit­rus.

Good news then that Cara Cara and blood oranges are not the only hand fruits we can indulge in for the next few weeks.

The Golden Nugget man­darin is an excep­tional, late sea­son vari­ety that is worth the recent atten­tion and new found pop­u­lar­ity.

Char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally, it is roughly rounded in shape and rather bumpy in exte­rior tex­ture. Its skin is golden orange, aro­matic and easy to peel. Its eas­ily seg­mented flesh is deep orange, ten­der, juicy, extremely sweet and always seedless.

Read more: Gold Nuggets →

The National Mango Board has launched a new mar­ket­ing cam­paign, renam­ing the Ataulfo mango vari­ety to Honey mango.

Over the years, the Ataulfo name has been repeat­edly reported as hard to pro­nounce for United States con­sumers, retail­ers and food­ser­vice users.

They’ve had a bit of an “iden­tity cri­sis” with other names attached to them as well. Cham­pagne, yel­low, young, baby and Adolfo are all name tags placed on this beloved sweet piece of fruit.

Dif­fi­culty with the name has cre­ated some missed edu­ca­tional oppor­tu­ni­ties for this pop­u­lar Mex­i­can cul­ti­var.

A main dif­fi­culty in the name has been a bar­rier to pur­chas­ing for those U.S. mango lovers con­fused about the mango. Using Honey mango is a consumer-​friendly way to improve the honey mango aware­ness and purchases.

Read more: Call Me “Honey“ →

With Spring just a cou­ple of weeks away, the taste for spring veg­eta­bles gets ampli­fied. Work­ing those veg­gies on to the plate is easy when we put them on pizza.

Aspara­gus, arugula, leeks, arti­choke hearts and mush­rooms are very strong top­ping con­tenders for spring piz­zas pies.

Other choices may take some finess­ing and more care­ful han­dling. Fen­nel comes to mind. This spring bulb with fronds has the power to intim­i­date.

Even so, with just the right cheese part­ner and some grilling with onions, this one becomes a win­ner for any Fri­day night.

Roasted egg­plant is another fan­tas­tic spring pizza top­per. Lay­er­ing the egg­plant slices with loads of roasted gar­lic, feta cheese and pine nuts keeps it true to its Mediter­ranean roots.

Read more: Pizza Possible →

Encour­ag­ing an appetite is hardly the worry for most healthy indi­vid­u­als. Too many of us are try­ing to squash our food crav­ings.

For oth­ers, it can be quite a chal­lenge to coax eat­ing for sus­te­nance and nour­ish­ment.

Nearly every­one knows a friend, neigh­bor or fam­ily mem­ber who suf­fers from lack of inter­est or desire to eat or drink.

Typ­i­cally, this is due to a tem­po­rary set­back, like hav­ing the flu or recov­er­ing from den­tal work. The con­di­tion is short term and nor­mal eat­ing pat­terns will resume.

Dimin­ished appetites from chronic con­di­tions (aging and dis­ease) jeop­ar­dize opti­mum health and often indi­cate some­thing more seri­ous can be at work. Depres­sion, sad­ness, grief and health dis­or­ders are all on the table when the will to eat goes south.

Read more: Heal­ing Kitchen →

A mid-​winter slump begs for more choices in the week night meal rota­tion. Soup and sand­wich riffs take some pres­sure off any­one respon­si­ble for putting food on the table.

Afford­able and sat­is­fy­ing, a grilled cheese sand­wich and tomato soup combo are pretty hard to beat.

Their warmth and com­fort goes past those Campbell’s Soup com­mer­cials. Think of other nat­ural pair­ings and get into the spirit of a lunch or din­ner that don’t require much home­work.

Explore cream of cel­ery, French onion, Thai aspara­gus, veg­etable, potato — leek and mine­strone soup pro­files. A vast cat­a­log of recipes are avail­able to assist.

Spicy ver­sions of tor­tilla, Mul­li­gatawny and pho take us to great exotic tastes from around the world. Chile pep­pers, curry, lentils, gin­ger root, mush­rooms and gar­lic make for excep­tional soup starters.

Read more: Soup Plus Sandwich →