The dragon fruit, which is also known as the pitaya, is a beautiful, unique, healthful, delicious, and elegant exotic fruit. Many people around the world are now hooked to the unique taste of the dragon fruit, whether it’s in fruit form, drink form, or pastry form. Perhaps, you’ve tasted vitaminwater’s power-C flavor, dragonfruit. (It’s actually one of my favorite drinks.)
The dragon fruit is a relative to the kiwi, but features a completely different taste. The inside edible part is comprised of a white pearly flesh evenly dotted with little black specks. Dragon fruits have a mild sweetness that you are sure to love, and have an elegant, wild look on the outside. Dragon fruits are one of the most nutritious of exotic fruits – they are packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins.
Dragon fruits are native Central and South America, but are now also grown in Southeast Asian countries. In fact, many tropical regions throughout the world now boast a great supply of dragon fruits. This is also how the dragon fruit got the very fitting Chinese name of 火龙果, or “fire dragon fruit.”
Interestingly, the dragon fruit plant is a cactus (bet you never knew that a cactus could produce such a succulent, juicy fruit!) Even more, the dragon fruit plant only blooms at night, and the beautiful, aroma-filled white flowers are known as the “moonflower.”
Dragon fruits come in many varieties – the one we are most used to is a red-colored fruit, with a pearly white inside. However, dragonfruits come in yellow too! Some varieties of dragon fruit may also have pink or red flesh. All these different varieties provide unique taste to the dragon fruit; some enjoy eating Stenocereus dragon fruits, which are considerably sour and more refreshing, with a stronger taste and more juice.
Because of the pitaya’s health benefits and nutrition, it is a great addition to any choice of diet, and provides tons of health benefits. For example, the great supply of fiber in a pitaya fruit is great for one’s liver, as well as the digestive system. In addition, dragon fruits have been proven to help those with diabetes, high blood pressure, or weight problems. I’ll go deeper into the dragon fruit’s health benefits in a future post.