Enter The Dragon(fruit): Tips and Tricks

No, we’re not talking about Bruce Lee, but that doesn’t mean that dragonfruit can’t knock you off your feet. Also known as pitaya, dragonfruit is actually native to South America, but has expanded into kitchens across the globe. Exotically beautiful in appearance and distinctive in taste, dragonfruit makes an unforgettable impression the moment you lay your eyes on it. Return the favor and treat yours right with these tips and tricks.

  • Ripe dragonfruit should feel fairly soft and will give to slight pressure. However, if you can easily make indentations on the skin, your fruit is overripe.
  • The heavier the dragonfruit, the juicer the fruit. Always avoid lightweight dragonfruit if you can help it.
  • For maximum shelf life, loosely store your dragonfruit in a plastic bag inside your refrigerator. However, if you plan on using it immediately, it will keep at room temperature on your counter for a few days.
  • Preparing a dragonfruit is much simpler than its spiky exterior would have you believe. Just slice in half and either peel the skin or scoop out the flesh!
  • Most dragonfruit skin is inedible, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be repurposed. Try muddling the skin into a cocktail to give it a beautiful purple hue!
  • While you’re most likely familiar with the white-fleshed/red-skinned variety of dragonfruit, did you know that it’s only one third of a greater family? Be on the lookout for white-fleshed/yellow-skinned and red-fleshed/red-skinned varieties. They differ beyond appearance too; red-fleshed varieties are often much sweeter than other dragonfruits.
  • Dragonfruit tastes a lot more mellow than you would expect, with a flavor resembling a dainty cross between a strawberry and a pear. Therefore, dragonfruit is best utilized as a complimentary flavor working to elevate a dish to greater heights rather than taking the lead.