What is dragon fruit?
This unique-looking fruit with a vibrant exterior is also known as pitaya or a strawberry pear because its seeds look similar to that of a strawberry.
Dragon fruit is an exotic fruit from the cactus family and was initially consumed primarily in Southeast Asia and Latin America.
However, dragon fruit is now a worldwide favorite and can be eaten on its own as a snack, put in smoothies or punches, or cut up and mixed into a salad.
Dragon fruit is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and is sweet and a little crunchy to eat.
What does dragon fruit taste like?
Some people may be wary of giving this exotic fruit a try because of its appearance, but you shouldn’t let this be an obstacle.
There are two main fruit categories: sweet and sour, and dragon fruit fall in the sweet variety.
If you’ve ever had kiwis and pears, imagine what they would taste like when mixed. This taste is the closest description of the taste of dragon fruit.
Some associate the flavor with a mix of watermelon and kiwi as well. The seeds give it a texture, much like that of kiwi.
How to eat dragon fruit
Dragon fruit is usually eaten raw. Just cut the fruit in half, and you can use a spoon to scoop the fruit out and use the skin as a bowl like you eat kiwi.
You can also remove the skin, cut the fruit up into chunks, and eat it with a fork.
To make a smoothie, add almond milk or coconut water and blend until you get a creamy consistency.
Dragon fruit makes a great addition to a salad as well. Just pair it up with some greens, like spinach, and season it with vinaigrette.
Meanwhile, some people prefer to grill it by cutting the fruit into blocks and grilling it on skewers.
How to cut dragon fruit
Use a sharp knife to slice the dragon fruit in half.
If you’ve ever removed the skin of an avocado, you’ll find it similar to that of peeling a dragon fruit. Use a spoon to detach the fruit from the inside of the skin and lift it out of its shell.
Now, you can cut the fruit into cubes or slices. Make sure you don’t leave any skin on the fruit.
How to tell if dragon fruit is ripe
To make sure that the dragon fruit is ripe, check the color. The outer skin should be a bright pink or yellow (this depends on which variety you’re looking at).
The color should be even throughout the skin, with minimal patches of a darker or lighter shade. This indicates that the fruit is just in the right ripeness.
The leaves should also be brown and dry, meaning the fruit is ready to consume. Colored wings that are red or yellow show that the fruit needs time to ripen.
Upon cutting it open, the fruit should be white, purple, or pink. Again, this depends on which variety of dragon fruit you want. A brown interior means that the fruit is overripe.
If you’re growing your dragon fruit, you should wait for it to change color from the initial green to yellow or pink.
Additionally, you can calculate how many days it has been since the flowers came out. Around 27-33 days following the day it flowered, the fruit should be ripe.
How to pick out dragon fruit
To pick out the right dragon fruit, squeeze and check how soft it is.
If your thumb causes an indent and damages the exterior, the fruit is overripe. If it is hard, then it needs a couple of more days to ripen.
If you don’t want to buy your dragon fruit ripe, you can also get underripe fruit and ripen it at home. You can pick out an under ripe dragon fruit and let it sit at room temperature for two to four days, and it will soon become ripe enough to eat.
One aspect to consider when choosing the right fruit is if it has any bruising or signs of moisture loss. When fruits are damaged during transport or harvesting, they might have cuts in the skin that leak the moisture.
A shriveled and shrunken dragon fruit with a dried stem indicates that it has lost its moisture content.
The bottom line
The arrival of this exotic dragon fruit to various countries in the world has led to numerous ways of eating it.
Whether you eat a dragon fruit on its own or use it to spruce up your main dishes, you have to give this fruit a try!