Dragon fruit is gaining popularity in recent years. With its exotic appearance, it can seem a bit intimidating at first. And you may be wondering what it tastes like.
What Is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is a unique, tropical fruit that belongs to the cactaceae family. It originated in Central America where it is known as pitaya roja. But it is now grown and enjoyed all around the world.
The fruit gets its name from the scaly outer skin that looks like a dragon’s scales. The inside of dragon fruit can have either white, yellow, or red flesh and is speckled with tiny black seeds.
Dragon Fruit Taste
Dragon fruit tastes like a mix of pear, watermelon, and kiwi. The flavor of dragon fruit is a bit sweet and somewhat tropical. The taste might be subtle, but it has a refreshing quality. If your dragon fruit is not ripe, the taste will be bland and less sweet compared to a ripe fruit. Unripe dragon fruit may have a subtle earthy flavor and lack the characteristic refreshing tropical notes found in a ripe dragon fruit.
Dragon Fruit Texture
The texture of dragon fruit is somewhat crunchy due to the tiny black seeds embedded within the flesh, imparting a mouthfeel similar to kiwi. The flesh itself is soft and creamy, almost like a custard or a firmer version of watermelon. The texture can vary depending on the ripeness of the fruit. If your dragon fruit is not ripe, the texture may be more firm and less juicy.
Dragon Fruit Ripeness
It’s best to consume dragon fruit when it’s ripe to enjoy its unique flavor profile to the fullest. A ripe dragon fruit is distinguished by its vibrant, even, and unblemished color. It should feel a bit soft to the touch, similar to an avocado or ripe mango, but not mushy. If it yields a little when you press it, the fruit is ripe and ready to eat. If it’s too hard, it might need a few more days to ripen. The stem and leaves of the fruit should be fresh and bright.
How to Serve Dragon Fruit
You can enjoy dragon fruit by itself by cutting the fruit in half and scooping out the flesh with a spoon. It also pairs well with other tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. Dragon fruit is delicious in smoothies, salads, and desserts or made into a dragon fruit sorbet. It makes a vibrant addition to salsa, providing a sweet contrast to the spicy ingredients.