Dragonfruit is an exotic fruit native to Southeast Asia and Northern America. It is very appealing to the eye since it has vibrant colors. It also has scale-like skin hence the name ‘dragonfruit’.
If you have never tasted dragonfruit, you are probably wondering what it tastes like. Keep reading because we will discuss everything you need to know about this exotic fruit.
I would describe the flavor of dragonfruit as mildly sweet and delicate. It is very similar to that of unripe pear.
In terms of texture, the dragonfruit is firm and creamy. It is also juicy with a crisp to the bite. Dragonfruit has little to no aroma, which is quite surprising since it is a tropical fruit.
Dragonfruit also contains many tiny edible seeds that give the flesh a chia-like crunch. The skin is not edible but you can easily separate it from the flesh and discard it.
Comparison of different dragonfruit varieties
There are three main varieties of dragonfruit; pitaya roja, pitaya amarilla, and pitaya blanca. All these varieties differ in appearance and flavor.
Pitaya roja (red-fleshed pitaya)
Pitaya roja, also known as the red-fleshed pitaya has red skin and red flesh. Its botanical name is Hylocereus costaricensis.
When you slice pitaya roja open, you’ll see the lovely crimson red flesh. A lot of people argue that pitaya roja is more flavorful compared to pitaya blanca. The flavor of pitaya roja is more complex and has a little bit of extra acidity.
Be careful when eating pitaya roja because its juice has the tendency to stain clothes.
Pitaya amarilla (yellow pitaya)
Pitaya amarilla, also known as yellow pitaya, is the scarcest of the three. If you ever spot them at the market, don’t pass up your chance. The yellow pitaya is normally covered with spiky thorns.
My guess is that removing the thorns before selling them is quite tasking, which explains why they are not very common.
Yellow pitaya is much sweeter compared to the other two varieties. It also has an amazing scent that is loved by many.
Pitaya blanca (white-fleshed pitaya)
Pitaya blanca, also known as white-fleshed pitaya is the most common dragonfruit variety. You can easily find it in stores and farmers’ markets.
Its skin is normally pink with green splashes. When you slice pitaya blanca, you’ll see the white flesh and tiny black seeds. Unfortunately, pitaya blanca is the least flavorful of all the varieties. Most people describe the flavor as bland.
Reasons why you should buy dragonfruit
If you need a few reasons why you should buy dragon fruit, I have some for you.
Worth every coin
We have all come across fruits and vegetables that have a lot of skin and very little edible flesh.
This is not the case with dragonfruit. The dragonfruit skin is thin and the flesh does not have too many seeds in it. This makes it worth every coin you spend.
Dragonfruit is one of the most attractive fruits out there. Its vibrant colors makes it an ideal centerpiece and the skin can also be used as small dishes to serve ice cream, sorbet, or savory dishes.
Easy to prepare
My favorite thing about dragonfruit is that it is so easy to prepare. All you have to do is use a sharp knife to chop it in half lengthways then scoop the flesh. Alternatively, you can peel it the same way you peel bananas.
It is nutritious
Dragonfruit contains calcium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin A. It is also very low in calories and is therefore suitable for a wide range of diets.
How to choose the best dragonfruit
Always choose dragonfruit that is firm but gives a little when you squeeze it. Dragonfruit that is too firm may need a few days to ripen before you eat it.
You should also go for the ones that have bright skin with no brown spots. Avoid the ones that have shriveled stems.
Dragonfruit has several uses in the kitchen. Here are a few.
- Add them to salads. Just chop your dragonfruit into cubes and add them to your fruit salad for an exotic taste.
- Add dragonfruit to your smoothies
- Make dragonfruit juice
- Use it to make jam, chutney, jelly, and preserves.
- Add it to muffins and cakes for an amazing tropical flavor.
- Eat dragonfruit out of hand
How to store dragonfruit
If you intend to eat dragonfruit within a few days of buying it, you can store them in a fruit bowl on your kitchen counter. This way, they will stay fresh for 2-3 days.
If you want them to last longer, you can store them in the refrigerator. Simply place them in a sealed bag and place the bag in the refrigerator’s vegetable crisper.
Interesting facts about dragonfruit
- Dragonfruit goes by several names including; pitaya, strawberry pear, pitya, and pitahaya.
- It is a product of a variety of cactus called Hylocereus genus.
- Dragonfruits usually wither during the day, therefore, pollination only takes place at night time.
- If you have a sunburn, you can combine dragonfruit with honey and cucumber juice to soothe it.
If you are undecided on whether or not you should try dragonfruit, my advice is that you go for it. There is no harm in trying, either you’ll love it or you won’t eat it again, but you’d at least have the experience.
The flavor of dragonfruit is quite bland, so chances are that it won’t disgust you. The dragonfruit is a great addition to fruit salads. The dragonfruit skin is also quite appealing and you can use it to add a fun element to any dish by using it for serving part of the meal.
Other than being visually appealing, dragonfruit is very nutritious. Lately, there has been a lot of hype surrounding the nutritional benefits of dragonfruit. If you are on a budget and need a few extra nutrients, just go for the usual oranges, carrots, or apples since they have similar nutrients.
Try the dragonfruit today and let me know if you like it.