The Best Time Of Year To Eat Dragon Fruit

The dragon fruit, best known for its vibrant pink exterior and spotted interior, has seen significant growth in popularity in recent years. A few years back, suddenly everyone was sharing pics of their dragon fruit-studded smoothie bowls on social media, and both Starbucks and Taco Bell have included the fruit in popular drinks. While available year-round, like all produce, there is an in-season time for dragon fruit, which is the best time of year to enjoy it. That would be June through September, with peak fruits available in August and September.

There are actually four main types of dragon fruit — the ubiquitous pink with white interior is the white dragon fruit, the most popular and easy to find. These and the other three types are all available during the same period, with the exception of the yellow dragon fruit, which is harvested November through February. Native to Mexico, Central America, and South America, dragon fruit is also grown in Asia and three U.S. states: California, Hawaii, and Florida. This global cultivation allows for a steady supply and availability throughout the year, though it will be at its freshest and most flavorful during the peak season.

Delicious ways to enjoy dragon fruit

It's important to first know what to look for when you buy and store dragon fruit. Unripe fruit is tasteless and over-ripe dragon fruit has a brown and slimy interior that you will want to avoid eating. To prepare dragon fruit, it can be opened and sliced or scooped out with a spoon or melon baller. It is mildly sweet, with a flavor often described as being a cross between pear and kiwi with hints of watermelon and/or berries. It has a similar texture to ripe kiwi, making it perfect for smoothie or açaí bowls, salads, beverages, and more. The fruit can be eaten raw, blended, or frozen for later.

If you want to get extra creative, dragon fruit is an unexpected pairing that works well with fish. You can also add it to salsa or make a syrup to upgrade vodka cocktails. Its striking appearance and subtle sweetness make it a stunning addition to desserts, like ice cream or sorbet, but it can also be included in fruit bowls for a visually appealing presentation. No matter how you choose to use up the flashy dragon fruit, you're sure to appreciate the unique appearance and delicate flavors.