One of the coolest and most exotic-looking fruits in the world has got to be the Dragon Fruit (Pitaya or Pitahaya) or at least the top five. I mean just look at it. It looks like something straight out of a fantasy movie. In this article, you will learn all about the magical-looking dragon fruit, where it comes from and grows, what the nutritional benefits are, and of course, how to eat dragon fruit or pitaya and what it tastes like, at least to me.
If you are into awesome exotic-looking and tasting fruits, then this fruit is for you. Let’s get onto the information!
Where do Dragon Fruits (pitaya) come from and grow?
The Dragon Fruit is a type of “cactus fruit.” It grows on a cactus. Depending on where you live you may even be able to grow your own Dragon Fruit.
If you can grow them that would be nice, because they are pretty expensive, at least here in the United States. The prices range from $5.99 to $8.99 a bit more or less, depending on where you live here in the US.
They are indigenous or native to Mexica and South America (Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, etc.,) but are cultivated and grown all over the world. South East Asia cultivates quite a few of them, a lot of the ones I buy, come from Vietnam. I bet they are really cheap in Vietnam!
Pitaya are also cultivated in parts of the United States (Southern California and Florida), Australia, the Caribbean, and other tropical and subtropical places in the world. They even grow here in Arizona where I live. In fact, I have a dragon fruit plant growing in my parent’s backyard!
There are a handful of different varieties of Dragon Fruit. The most common are pink and green on the outside with white or pink flesh on the inside and yellow Dragon fruits which are yellow and green on the outside and white on the inside.
The inside kind of reminds me of a kiwi, because of all the little black seeds.
What are the health benefits of Dragon fruit?
When it comes to nutritional benefits, they are fairly nutritious.
- The are very low in calories for the amount that you eat.
- High in vitamin C.
- Full of antioxidants
- Lots of fiber
- They promote a healthy gut, which is awesome.
For more nutritional information about Dragon Fruits, read this article.
How to eat a Dragon Fruit?
There are a few methods on how to eat a dragon fruit, I am just going to show you the way that I do it. Take a knife and slice off the top. I know, it is kind of sad cutting into that amazing looking fruit.
Now cut off the bottom end as well. Look at the cool looking inside. It will be white with black seeds or dark pink with black seeds depending on the variety.
The skin is thick and leathery, and you don’t want to eat it, just discard it.
Now run a slit down lengthwise and then grab the thick skin and easily peel it away from the fruit. You will be left with a nice large chunk of dragon fruit flesh.
You can certainly just hold and eat the chunk that way, or I like to quarter it lengthwise and then cut each quarter into little wedges.
This makes several bite size pieces that you can arrange on a fruit platter or in a bowl for others to try.
Another option is to just cut the Dragon Fruit in half while still in the skin and scoop out the flesh with a melon baller or spoon and eat it that way.
You can eat it raw, grill it, or throw it in a smoothie. They make a great addition to a fruit salad.
What does Pitaya taste like?
First of all, taste is very subjective. What may taste like something to me, may not taste the same way to you. To me dragon fruit, at least the white flesh variety, has a texture very similar to like a kiwi mixed with a water melon. It is slightly sweet, some people, say between a pear and a kiwi. Sometimes depending on the one you get, it can taste kind of bland.
Taste wise, I would say the Dragon Fruit doesn’t really live up to its awesome outer exterior. But still something worth trying, if you love tasting new and exotic fruits.
Yellow Dragon Fruit or yellow pitaya is supposed to be the sweetest tasting of the Dragon fruit varieties. I have yet to get my hands on one of those, so I can’t wait to try one.
Have you tried a dragon fruit? Let me know in the comments if you like it or not and how much it cost.
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