Dragon Fruit: Jewel of the Produce Aisle
We’re calling it: Dragon Fruit is the most underrated, overlooked fruit in the produce aisle.
When you walk past it in the store, one word probably springs to mind: “Huh?” The intense-looking rind of a Dragon Fruit (also called piety or pitahaya) seems a little ominous – Do you peel it? Do you bite into it? Is it as gnarly and spiky and… artichoke-like as it looks? The real shame is that its dragon-like rind belies the absolute soft gorgeousness of the fruit inside…
The texture of Dragon Fruit flesh is similar to kiwi fruit, but more watery and hydrating, kind of like a pear. It has a very mild, sweet flavour and is probably best known for being extremely watery.
There are three varieties of Dragon Fruit:
How the Heck do you Eat It?
Slicing the fruit in half and scooping the flesh out with a spoon is probably the easiest way to eat this fruit, making it a decently easy-to-figure out grab and go snack. Alternately, you could cut the fruit lengthwise into quarters and bite the flesh from the rind as you would with an orange slice.
A fruit this pretty can be dolled up in other ways too – cut into cubes, scooped into spheres with a melon baller, added to skewers and more. It can be used in smoothies and juices to add a hydrating texture with a mild, imperceptible flavour.
Yellow-skinned Pitaya: The Sweetest of them All
If Dragon Fruit is the unsung hero of the produce aisle, well then Yellow Dragon Fruit is most certainly the most-ignored sibling in the family. Lacking the striking magenta skin of its sister fruits, it may not be as eye-catching. But we’ve got a secret for you: Yellow Dragon Fruit is our favourite.
Yellow-skinned Dragon Fruit is one of the most perfectly sweet fruits of them all – certainly sweeter than the other members of the pitaya family, without being cloyingly too sweet. If there was one surprising complaint about Dragon Fruit in general, it would be that its flavour is almost too mild sometimes. The yellow-skinned version of the fruit answers the call for those looking for a simply scoopable, hydrating fruit snack with the perfect refreshingly sweet flavour.
Dragon Fruit Lore
The Dragon Fruit is precious not just because of its striking looks, but because it lives such a short time. In some of the cultures from where it originates (Central America, Southeast Asia), it is sometimes known as “moonflower” or “Queen of the night,” because the plant blooms from evening to midnight, only to wither in strong sunlight. During the night, the pungent flowers are pollinated by moths and bats. Although the flower dies, the cactus bears pitaya fruit about six times every year.
Nutrition Quick Hits:
Like all fruits, Pitaya is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants – health-making chemical compounds often found in abundance in plant foods. It’s millions of tiny seeds are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, and fibre.