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How to Select and Eat a Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit, also known as pitahaya or wild strawberry pear, may appear intimidating with its bright pink skin and greenish spikes. However, once you get over your fear and pick and eat your first dragon fruit, you will notice that this exotic fruit boasts a wonderful, mildly sweet flavor. When selecting, preparing and eating dragon fruit, keep these tips in mind:

dragon fruit
Eat a dragon fruit by scooping out its flesh with a spoon.

Selecting a Dragon Fruit

Before we learn how to eat a dragon fruit, let's take a look at some pointers on how to select a dragon fruit at a grocery store. Before buying a dragon fruit, give it a gentle press with your thumb — a ripe dragon fruit yields slightly but does not feel too soft. Avoid dragon fruits that feel extremely hard, if possible. If your grocer or specialty food store only sells rock-hard dragon fruits, don't worry: you can also ripen your dragon fruit at home on your kitchen counter. Simply leave the fruit on the counter at room temperature until it feels slightly soft when you press it. Be sure to check the ripeness of your dragon fruit daily in order to prevent it from over-ripening. If your dragon fruit has a lot of blotches, it may be past its best.

Eating a Dragon Fruit

When your dragon fruit is ready to be eaten, place it on a cutting board and cut it in half with a large knife. The flesh of a healthy dragon fruit is white with tiny black seeds distributed all over the flesh. Both the flesh and the seeds are edible, and they offer some great nutritional benefits, too.

If the flesh of your dragon fruit appears purplish-red, don't panic. While white-fleshed dragon fruit (known as pitahaya blanco in Latin America) is the most common variety, a red-fleshed dragon fruit variety (pitahaya roja) is also available.

Next, eat your dragon fruit by scooping out the white or red flesh with a spoon. Alternatively, cut the fruit into quarters and use the pieces in a fruit salad or a smoothie. The tropical flavor of dragon fruit combines well with other tropical fruits such as watermelon, rambutans, lychees and kiwis.

More About the Dragon Fruit

To fully enjoy its delicate flavor, dragon fruit is best eaten raw. But by eating this exotic fruit in its natural form, you will also reap the most health benefits. To learn more about what dragon fruit can do for your health, continue to the article Health Benefits of the Dragon Fruit.