How Do I Choose the Best Dragon Fruit?

Christina Edwards

A dragon fruit is a type of cactus fruit native to tropical regions of the world. Ripe dragon fruit usually has shiny reddish-purple skin with no brown or other discolored spots on it. The leaf-like scales that cover the fruit should be bright green, and the stem section of the fruit should not be brown. When choosing a good fruit, a person should also squeeze the fruit a bit. If the fruit feels very hard, it is not ripe enough, but if it is very soft, it is too ripe.

Dragon fruits.
Dragon fruits.

The dragon fruit is also sometimes referred to as the pitahya fruit, or the strawberry pear, and it grows on several cactus varieties in the Hylocereus genus. Like most other cacti, these plants generally grow best in very warm regions, particularly tropical regions. Although they are native to South America and Central America, they also grow in parts of Asia as well.

Dragon fruit is native to Central America and South America.
Dragon fruit is native to Central America and South America.

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Dragon fruit flesh is usually white with several very small black seeds. Some varieties, however, may have very dark pink or purple flesh. The skin of this type of fruit is also usually very dark pink or reddish-purple with green leaf-like scales. Yellow fruits, however, typically have yellow to greenish yellow skin.

Dragon fruit cut in half.
Dragon fruit cut in half.

When choosing the best dragon fruit, either from the vine or the store, it is important to choose a fruit that has good color. The skin should be very bright and somewhat shiny, and the scales on the pink fruit should be bright green. There should be no brown spots on either the main part of the fruit or the scales. This is usually a sign that the fruit has ripened too much.

Once ripe, dragon fruit can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, including fruit salads.
Once ripe, dragon fruit can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, including fruit salads.

Someone trying to choose a perfectly ripe fruit should also gently squeeze the fruit. Fruits that are not quite ripe will usually feel very firm, and these should be avoided. On the other hand, these fruits should not be very soft, nor should they have any mushy spots on them. Many experts claim that a perfectly ripe dragon fruit will feel a bit like a kiwi when it is squeezed.

Dragon fruits are usually very sweet once they are ripe, and they can be enjoyed alone or in other dishes, such as fruit salads. Only the flesh and seeds of this fruit are edible, however, and the skin should be removed. To do this, the fruit is usually cut in half and the flesh is removed with a spoon.

When choosing a dragon fruit at the market, choose one with the firmness of a kiwi.
When choosing a dragon fruit at the market, choose one with the firmness of a kiwi.

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Discussion Comments


@pleonasm - Well, they would love it until they got used to it. For people who have dragon fruit plants it's just another kind of fruit. I mean, the kiwi would have looked weird to people the first time they encountered it as well.

Although the dragon fruit is fairly unique. I know that they used to use it as a prop in science fiction shows when they wanted to show people eating on alien worlds. There are a few fruits and vegetables that always get used for that, including artichokes, dragon fruit and other tropical fruits that the majority of TV watchers aren't used to.


@KoiwiGal - I think it depends on the variety that you've tried. I've only ever tried them on a cruise ship, and I think they had the ones that look really good for the display, rather than ones that were bred to taste good.

They are actually really worth growing, if only because I've heard that their flowers have a lovely scent. And even if you can't find a type that you really like to eat, it would still be cool to be able to serve them to friends as a kind of novelty. Not to mention kids. I know my nephews would absolutely love being able to eat such weird fruits.


I've actually been quite disappointed by the few times I've tried a dragon fruit. It looks so very different from anything else I've ever tried and I was hoping it would taste really different as well. But, I find them to be quite bland. Not like kiwi at all. Although I do think they are right that the ripe ones feel about the same.

I mean, it's just so weird looking with the bright colors outside and the black and white insides. I was actually even thinking about getting some dragon fruit seeds and growing some myself, but I just don't like the taste very much. I'd rather have a boring old orange.

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