Red Pitaya (Dragon Fruit)

December 21st, 2009 | Fruit Maven

If you’ve been invited to a “Herb the Vegetarian Dragon” party and just haven’t been able to find the right hostess gift, then this is the fruit for you!
red pitaya - dragon fruit
APPEARANCE Rating: ★★★★★

Fuchsia body with leaf shaped flaps that fade to green, the inside is white with tiny black seeds; reminds me of a cross between a shiny zebra and a poppy seed muffin. Also it is quite big – the size of a small nerf football.

AROMA Rating: ★★★☆☆

Cucumbers!

TEXTURE Rating: ★★★½☆

Juicy and grainy with crunchy little seeds; similar to a cucumber but with more seeds and a little more snap to the bite.

TASTE Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Reminds me of bland melon and kiwi and cucumber, but with a slightly sour note.

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

I’m not a fan of this fruit and I keep making faces every time I take a bite in order to describe some aspect of it. I had a bit of a red-fleshed variety at a potluck a few months ago and I remember thinking I liked it and wanted to look for it. So maybe this just isn’t a good one or maybe I was just feeling festive that day. I will say that this fruit is absolutely visually stunning and I really do wish I was throwing a party tonight with this fruit as the centerpiece. Oh how my friends would be jealous of me.

FRUIT

Red Pitaya

VARIETY

Unknown

PEAK

Unknown

ORIGIN

Unknown

GROWN

Unknown

PURCHASED

Asian Market

NOTES

This fruit is also called Strawberry Pear. You can see some gorgeous pictures of the plant (it grows on a cactus) here.

12 Comments

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  • Susanna Dilliott Dec 21, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    I just returned from two years in China where I ate dragon fruit several times. To me the fruit has a taste of honey, but it is a faint taste of honey. The real reason to buy the fruit is because it is so pretty! By the way, one of the expat grocery stores in Shanghai calls this a Fire Dragon Fruit which is the English translation of the Chinese name (huǒlóngguǒ).

  • emi Dec 22, 2009 at 5:15 am

    I’m glad you tried it! I’m so curious about it and now I know. What a great blog!

  • Fruit Maven Dec 22, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Susanna – Ohh! I love the name Fire Dragon Fruit. So sexy.

    Emi – Thanks!!! You should definitely try it.

  • Chan Jan 5, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Hi, your blog is great, I’m a regular visitor since a friend showed it to me.

    Your impressions about it are very similar to mine.
    I have tried a white-fleshed Pitaya once and I didn’t liked it, the flavor is too “green” and the texture is too slimy, but I took several pictures of this amazing looking fruit.
    After I complained about it to a friend, he told me that the red-fleshed Pitayas are sweeter and tastes a lot better than the white ones. But you almost can’t tell if is a red or white Pitaya from the outside, so I just have given up on this overcomplicated fruit.

  • Fruit Maven Jan 5, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Chan – If I discover some way of being able to tell what color the flesh will be inside, I’ll let you know. I am also keenly interested in trying the one that is yellow outside and white inside. Fun stuff!

  • Steve Asbell Jul 4, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I bought one a few years back and agree that it isn’t very flavorful, but it is refreshing. I did manage to plant the seeds and ended up with way more plants than I knew what to do with, and now my remaining specimens are crawling all over the balcony.

  • Fruit Maven Jul 15, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Wow Steve. That’s great!

  • Megan Jul 25, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Hey Becky – I’m featuring dragonfruit in my e-letter this week because one of our farms growns them and the magenta ones are in season. Richard, the farmer, gave me a big tip – he says you have to wait until the spines dry up and the outside is deep red and soft before you try to eat them. He says people don’t realize this and are often disappointed in the flavor as a result.

  • Fruit Maven Aug 2, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Ohhh. Good to know.

  • Ryan Aug 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    I love the site…Re: this dragon fruit, you are spot on about the variety you tried. However, it’s also true that the white fleshed variety is the blandest of the bunch. I do hope you’ll try again, one of the pink fleshed variety. Also, my favorite and the sweetest of them all is the variety with yellow skin and white flesh. Blessings!

  • Fruit Maven Aug 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks Ryan! I haven’t yet come across the pink flesh or the yellow/white but I’m always on the lookout! Thanks for the recommendation.

  • James Oct 16, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Just ran into your blog, but the white flesh dragon fruit tastes best with a squeeze of lime on it. It really brings out its flavors!

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