October 13, 2004
Dragon Fruit

dragon fruit.jpg They sat in a cardboard box in a greengrocers in Chinatown, beckoning me. Exotic, pink and green...unknown...exciting. Next to the indecipherable (Chinese?) characters, were scrawled the words "Dragon Fruit". Well, well. This we have to try. So I bought one and brought it home. How can you NOT want to try something called Dragon Fruit? I imagined a scarlet interior, peppery and fruity at once, something to match the hype of its exterior and its name. Isn't it fun to anticipate trying something you've never tasted before?

That said, I did some research before biting into this particular forbidden fruit. I didn't want to find out the hard way that - like rhubarb or blowfish - there are poisonous bits to be avoided.

Hylocereus undatus is a fruit that is grown in nearly all tropical climates these days, though it is said to originate in South America. In fact, eating it is about as simple as you would assume on looking at it: open it up and eat the inside, not the cool pink and green skin. It's in the cactus family and if you are interested in growing some dragon fruit in your own home, a simple Google search will take you to hundreds of sites willing to instruct you. For the decorative element alone, I would think it would be worth cultivating!

inside a dragon fruit.jpgAnd the proof in the pudding? Well, it was...nice. Not at all dragon-y. In fact, I noticed in one place that an alternative name for the fruit is "strawberry pear" and this seems more appropriate than the dragon association. Inside, the texture is like a cross between a watery melon and a pear, but scattered with tiny crunchy seeds, like a kiwi. The taste is also fairly melon-like, in that it is bland. Bland, bland, bland and somewhat sweet. It was a nice texture and I'm glad to have tried it. However, my immediate thought was: this would be tasty with a nice sharp raspberry coulis. In fact, I think dragon fruit must be at its best when paired with other fruits. Its striking appearance would add panache to any dish and you could add the fruit to almost any other fruit combination without worrying about upsetting the balance of flavours. (Unless the rest of the dish was composed of porridge...but I digress into silliness...)

So there you have it. A virgin's experience with Dragon Fruit. Probably not as exciting reading as a virgin's experience with a real dragon (Did you know my namesake St. Margaret was cut from the belly of a dragon? And subsequently became the patron saint of childbirth? Lucky me!) but at least it's real, it's live and our friend David was the witness and participating guineau pig.

Posted by Meg in Sussex at October 13, 2004 3:59 PM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

hehe. I bought some dragonfruit with the same though in mind, it seemed exotic and fascinating. I have not tried it yet, but I have read that the ones with red inside are sweeter and less bland than the ones with white inside, and I bought the one with red inside, so let's hope it is yummy. Thanks for posting this information. It has been valuable. =)

Posted by Leslie on October 1, 2005 at 6:05 PM

Dear Margaret,

Like you I bought a dragon fruit, just to try - got it home and didn't know how to go about eating it. I did some quick googling and searched the BBC food website (my usual source), but came back unenlightened. Until I found your posting. It was just the information I wanted. Thank you.

Regards, Anne.

Posted by Anne on October 30, 2005 at 5:34 AM

Anne, glad to be of help and thanks much for taking the time to post a comment!

Posted by Meg in Paris on October 31, 2005 at 1:50 AM

I too came across this fruit and just had to try it based on the name alone. I was very disappointed in it, however. If it had been labeled strawberry pear or pitaya I most likely wouldn't have picked it up. But with a name like Dragon Fruit I expected something with a lot more taste.

Posted by pemdasi on November 5, 2005 at 4:13 PM

was so delighted to find your posting. i am going to school to be a teacher and as it is time for chinese new year i bought a dragon fruit to introduce to my kids but was unaware of what to expect. very helpful!!

Posted by Melissa on January 26, 2006 at 8:50 PM

Hi, Bought Dragon Fruit today, not tried it yet, waiting for the wife to come home and we can try it together. I will post my views later as to what I (we) think it tastes like

Posted by Dave on May 23, 2006 at 6:33 AM

Hi, i am 10 years old and a bit ill and the dragon fruit really cheered me up!

Posted by haroun on May 27, 2006 at 1:39 PM

Just bought a dragon fruit online at Tesco, well mam did. I didn't try it I probably still won't, thanks anyway

Posted by Aoife on July 5, 2006 at 2:08 PM

it did look dragony but u were right its bland only the centermost part is a lill bit sweeter than the rest....any nutritional info???

Posted by DjCathode on July 21, 2006 at 12:05 PM

well i also saw this wonderful looking fruit and bought it. Its quiet expensive than the other fruits but its really an experience to have one i got the white one as i never knew there were two kinds. It was bland tasted like kiwi and tender coconut. well nice change

Posted by roshni antony on August 1, 2006 at 3:35 PM

im from philippines. i went to vietnam and ask for some vines to plant.. unfortunatly when i search google i cant seem to find what site to see on how to plant dragon fruit.. can u tell me the specific site on how to plant the vine? thank you so much.....

Posted by andrew choi on August 22, 2006 at 9:20 PM

I too bought a dragon fruit from Tesco because it looked so beautiful and googled to see about it. Thanks Meg. Now I know

Posted by Prem on August 25, 2006 at 11:37 AM

I too bought a dragon fruit from Tesco because it looked so beautiful and googled to see about it. Thanks Meg. Now I know

Posted by Prem on August 25, 2006 at 11:37 AM

Why they call Dragon fruit ?
Because the fruit on the claimate tree trunk at the end it look like the head of the drangon and the trunk look like body. That the reason the name came from.

The Dragon fruit is ease to plant just need the 2 feet long trunk and dig a hold and plant it , don't for get you need something
for it claim on or you can build one like embrara. So when it claim up and it have more trunk then it will look like the Palm tree shape.

I have plant it a lot , just one year than you
can have the couple of fruit. I heard the fruit can be a medician in Taiwan.

Last year i got 60 fruits fo Dragon fruit.
This year i aready pick 10.

Posted by alex on August 25, 2006 at 12:38 PM

Great site. I really enjoy your colorful entries. Thanks for sharing your eating experiences...

Posted by Anthony on August 31, 2006 at 11:16 PM

I grow them in Fla. They are a type of cactus. Mine are the red-fruited kind. A guy I work with says in Nicaragua they drink the juice mixed with fresh lime juice and sugar. We tried it and it was delicious.

Posted by Libby on September 29, 2006 at 3:23 PM

I bought a dragon fruit last night and it did not have any sweet taste it actually tasted kinda earthy...... How can you tell if the dragon fruit is ripe?

Posted by rachel on October 6, 2006 at 12:55 PM

in hawaii dragin fruit is delicious. red kine is sweeter and tastier. I need to know how to,plant the vine

Posted by Margaret on November 11, 2006 at 2:56 PM

how do you know when a dragonfruit is ripe?

Posted by ookda on November 27, 2006 at 10:58 PM

I live near a farm that grows red Dragen Fruit in Far North Queensland. We eat them when they are nice & cold either on their own or with bananas & custard or yoghurt or add them to fruit salad. They are great in a smoothy & the pulp can be frozen. Have tried the white flesh but didn't like them. They ar easy to grow from a cutting of the cactus & need little water.

Posted by jude on February 8, 2007 at 7:21 PM

Hi, my mom bought a dragon fruit and I wanted to see how it tasted so I went online to do some research because what if it tasted bad. I'm glad it won't now. Thanx for the tip on dragon fruits.

Posted by Megan on March 12, 2007 at 2:09 PM

poke em

Posted by lus on July 6, 2007 at 6:57 AM

I am 5 years old and love all things dragon,Pink and Fairy-like. This was at the store and "PINK" ,it was also named so "COOL" Sooooo...We will try it and all dream of dragons and pink Fairy lands.

Posted by KAITLYN Cosentino on July 16, 2007 at 6:59 PM

I am a sri lankan dragon fruit suppiler. if you want i can supply it.

Posted by shiran on July 26, 2007 at 1:52 PM

I am 19 and from Hawaii. I am wark as a chef and I have Recently aquired an interest in dragon fruit. I have somme nutritional info though.

Red flesh variety is rich in anti-oxidants

Rich in Vitamins

Helps to prevent colon cancer and diabetes

Helps to neutralize toxic substances in the body such as heavy metals

Helps to reduce high blood presure and cholesterol

Helps with asthma

Posted by Lance on July 30, 2007 at 4:56 PM

I bought a dragon fruit tonight and was excited to try it. I was expecting a pink interior, but when my boyfriend started peeling away the outside, I was amazed to find a white inside speckled with seeds. I personally liked it, my boyfriend only likes the few sweet parts of it. I will buy it again just because it's so exotic looking and I like the taste!

Posted by Alicia on September 16, 2007 at 3:10 AM

They are ripe when the green spiney leaf-tips turn brown and dry.
At this point, the fruit will be soft enough so that even a semi-firm squeeze with your fingertips will leave a bruise (like in a peach or tomato).

My own experiences is that (like most fruit) it tends to be picked early for store shelf life, and most which I have bought locally are perfect to eat in about a week.

Posted by Tenmiles on October 1, 2007 at 9:33 PM

Wow. Thanks for that little tidbit Lance. I am athsmatic and have been wondering a bit about organic fruits that could minimize my chance of getting really sick.
I am 15 and am actually in Food Studies class as I am posting this. We're currently looking up research about the Dragon Fruit and alot of my answers were in here. Thank you Meg.


Posted by Alex on October 5, 2007 at 11:36 AM

How would the dragon fruit work for making jam or jelly?

Posted by Mar on October 10, 2007 at 9:56 PM

I just tried one the other day and found it quite bland and unpleasant.

Someone mentioned it was coconutty...which is sort of true. If the coconut tasted bad.

Disappointing, since it's such a pretty fruit!

Posted by Deborah on October 24, 2007 at 7:22 PM

This is a great site - I just discovered it while googling for info on my first dragonfruit purchase. This is so informative and really helpful. Thanks for who posted information. I still am a little unclear on how to tell when it is ripe. I know I get a much sweeter cantaloupe when I let it sit out after purchase until it is just a day or two before going bad - amazing difference in taste, but you really have to be careful with the timing. So I am wondering if this is so with the dragonfruit. If anyone has this experience, I'd really appreciate the info. Thanks.

Posted by Donna on November 29, 2007 at 8:32 PM

To everyone,

I have been eating DF of different varietals for more than 4 years. It is true that the redder they are, the sweeter the flavor. Also, according to my supplier, they should be vine ripened as they spoil quickly once picked without fully reaching their peek flavor. I have used them in homemade icecream and fruit topings for cheesecake/tarts. I imagine they would do well with pork and chicken. I have seen chutney and salsa recipies as well. I hope everyone give the fruit a good chance. Like the author says, this fruit may be best appreciated in combination with other flavors.


Posted by stanley on December 17, 2007 at 5:50 PM

For the first time today I have seen and bought a Dragon Fruit, there was quite a lot of discussion with my fellow shoppers, of which none had tried this fruit. I think it brightens up the fruit bowl and is a good talking point. I also bought a Pomelo so will be trying both out later. I now know how to prepare both thanks.

Posted by Carole on January 11, 2008 at 9:08 AM

I am from sri lanka.i have read about dragon fruit.I have 10 acres bear lands in sri lanka so i thought to cultivate dragon fruit.but i need advice how to cultivate dragon fruit in correct way.please help me

Posted by indika on February 5, 2008 at 5:37 AM

I got one a little ago and the inside was green and bitter/sour. Was it not ripe or something?

Posted by plorge on February 20, 2008 at 6:01 PM

The organic red fleshed variety is sweeter. This variety can be recognized by the mainly red colour of the skin whereas the white fleshed variety has a bit more yellow and green at the tip of the skin of the fruit. As Lance says, it has very good antioxidant property. One can also make fruit enzyme drink out of the fruit. Very refreshing drink. Good for health too! Main thing is to keep all things very clean and dry. Need abt 5 fruits and a green lime and some rock sugar. Imperative tat the seeds fr lime is removed otherwise the drink will be bitter.Layer the cut fruits with the lime and rock sugar ending with the rock sugar on top. Place in a cool dry place for 14 days. Can give it a stir after the 3rd day. filter the juice with a muslin cloth or a sieve. Can keep for a month in the fridge.

Posted by theresa on March 22, 2008 at 11:01 AM

An UGLY fruit. Thats why we bought it. Tastes kike a bland kiwi. Really makes a statement when serving tho White flesh , black seeds.On a scale of 1 to 10 , 9 visual , 4 taste. Will buy another.Would appeal to the same type that buyz Star fruit

Posted by Ronn on April 13, 2008 at 2:05 AM

I would like to say that my experience with a dragon fruit was an utter disappointment. Where ever it originated from, i think they should feel embarrassed. I would possibly only enjoy it if stuck with no food in the middle of the Sahara. The bland and unexciting taste was not what i expected from is exciting name. Also its dodgey colour was another put off. But it looks pretty!

Posted by thorneyboy on April 23, 2008 at 2:34 PM

go to the site www.dragonfruit.com for nutritional info.

Posted by dorkamundo on July 20, 2008 at 8:10 AM

we farming in large scale dragons in a organic way,red and white flesh,they taste always sweet and great if harvest on time.....sun ripe and absolute no chemicals used........so try to find the organic dragons and you will be never disapoint in it.....also if you farming them,no old truck tires can be used for organic dragonfruits cultivation as support the vines...they absorbe some toxins ......

Posted by raphael on September 15, 2008 at 7:37 AM

I just tried dragon fruit for the first time because I thought it looked interesting and wanted to serve something simple and unique for dessert. I also thought it was a little bland (your taste buds keep expecting kiwi flavor b/c of the texture). So, I punched it up with a honey lemon sauce (1 part lemon juice to 3 parts honey + a bit of lemon zest). It was excellent and got rave reviews from my guests.

Posted by Sloane on October 9, 2008 at 9:51 AM

Yes, dragon fruit does need an acquired, taste, but the red fruit is an erotic fruit with a slightly jasmine overtone. I have used them in several dishes, and yes, they compliment any white meat very well. Very nice when accompanied by lychee and mango with a dash of lime. Moonlite wines in north queensland have won awards overseas in Hong Kong and US with their dragon fruit wines...try the www.moonlitewine.com.au or just plug moonlite wine into the search engine.

Posted by Barbara on November 9, 2008 at 1:41 AM

how many day will the dragon fruit ripe? 34-40 days or? after planting, how long will it take for the plant to bear fruit?

Posted by diana lim on November 10, 2008 at 1:40 AM

Dear sir / madam ,

Iím Dinindu Isaanka Harischandra from Sri Lanka. I have idea to cultivate dragon fruit in Sri Lanka. And Sri Lanka also have good condition for cultivate the Dragon Fruit. Sri Lanka also some frames cultivates the Dragon Fruit success fully.

This not like simple thing to cultivate than other fruit. Because we have to invest money more than cultivate other fruit. And I decide to cultivate this fruit totally organic system. Thatís mean Iím not using any fertilizer for it. Because I have a idea to export this harvest. Because if I not use the fertilizer that is easy for export the harvest. But still I couldnít meet any export buyer for it.

I have small question ask from you.

1. If I cultivate the dragon fruit, can I find the buyer for export the harvest???
2. Do u have any argent in Sri Lanka for sell our harvest to you? ( If have any argent can I have his contact details.)
3. If you donít have any argent in Sri Lanka for export ,can you kindly tell me how can I export my harvest?
4. And can I use both organic system and inorganic system for cultivation ?

I need your prompt reply regard this and Iím waiting for your reply.My e mail address is dinindui@yahoo.com

Tks / Rgds
Dinindu Harischandra

Posted by Dinindu Harischandra on January 18, 2009 at 11:51 AM

today i learn that the interior of the dragon fruit have two diffrent colors.
1 ; white
2 ; redish pinkish.

usually my parents would buy the bigger ones [which are the ones with teh white interior]
but this time my parents friends brought some and they were a bit smaller. i peeled away the outside to find the inside pink. i thought it was a funny color for a fruit so i decided to google it to see if it was poisionous for not.

Posted by Mindy on July 22, 2009 at 12:13 AM

I have a small winery in Belize and was blown away the first time I cut open a dragon fruit. The deep purple color beggs one to call it the "purple Dragon"
Merv- Bel- Mer Winery

Posted by Mervin Skeen on September 4, 2009 at 4:03 PM

Vietnamese dragon fruit tastes good, looks good, nutritious, and available year round.
I just wonder why big companies like Fresh Del Monte Produce, Inc. and Chiquita Brands International Inc.
are not bringing this great fruit to Americans & people of the world like they did with banana.

Posted by Vincent on December 8, 2009 at 1:42 PM

are there any recipes because if there were that would be :) :) :) :)

Posted by tateanna on January 26, 2010 at 5:14 PM

hey do you know where to get recipe's for dragon fruit i have been looking everywhere? :)

Posted by Hattie on January 26, 2010 at 5:18 PM

Dragon fruit is rather sweet but bland,so to make a good wine it is imperative to add acids and tannins to create a good balance which is the basic ingredients for well structured wine. Check out all the health values and you will be surprise.

Mervin Skeen

Posted by Mervin Skeen on August 19, 2010 at 1:05 PM

I am 11, i live in Rhode Island, and i grow the type of dragonfruit reffered to as physical graffiti. It is actually a mix of red and white fleshed fruit and appearently is the best tasting kind

Posted by benpie on August 22, 2010 at 9:56 AM

I still don't know if it is poisonous or not. One site said to peal all of the pink (even the light pink stripes that are on the outside of the flesh).
Well, too late. I already ate it, now I'm worried that I may have poisoned myself.

Any comments on this? OMG I think I'm hallucinating now (just kidding).;

Posted by Fran M on October 4, 2010 at 8:27 PM
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