This brightly colored tropical fruit is a new favorite, greatly improving our smoothie game and boosting our healthy fruit consumption quotient. Stick with us as we discover the wonders of dragon fruit.
What is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit (also known as pitaya or strawberry pear) is a tropical fruit grown primarily in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Dragon fruit grows on tree-like cacti, which is a member of the genus Hylocereus. Long hearty, verdant branches sprout out from the plant’s base. The flowering buds on these branches eventually grow into dragon fruit. Most dragon fruits have bright pink skin with yellow-green pointy leaves that look like scales (hence the connection with dragons). The flesh, either pink or white, is dotted with tiny black edible seeds. The flesh is sweet and crisp with a flavor similar to that of pears, watermelons, and kiwis (or a cross between the three).
Serving and Preparing Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is absolutely delicious on it’s own. Simply halve the fruit and remove the coveted flesh with a spoon (similar to how you would prepare an avocado). Discard the skin and dice, chop, or slice the flesh for a tropical snack. Dragon fruit is wonderful in smoothies or fresh blended fruit juices. It is also a remarkable ingredient for tropical salsas, perfect for grilled seafood. A few standout recipes that we love include this gorgeous Dragon Fruit Smoothie and these Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Dragon Fruit Salsa which would pair perfectly with a Dragon Fruit Margarita.
How to Buy and Store Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is typically available year round with a prominent growing season in the summer to early autumn months. Gourmet grocers, Latin grocery stores, or Asian markets will most likely stock and sell fresh dragon fruit. If not, these stores may have frozen pre-cut options available.
When selecting your fruit, look for bright pink skin and a texture that’s semi-firm to the touch. Do not worry if your dragon fruit is very firm, they usually ripen after a day or two at room temperature. Store uncut fruit on the counter, for immediate eating, or refrigerated, if planning on eating your dragon fruit within a few days. Cut fruit should be refrigerated (usually with a shelf life of 2-3 days) or frozen (usually with a shelf life of 1-2 months).