How To Slay & Eat A Dragon…

Fruit, that is.

They were everywhere right before our trip to Mexico—in stores, on menus, and even in the baskets that señoras balance on their heads. This Sunday, I went to the market here in Panajachel, and it appears their season is now winding down, but I’m wondering: Have you ever tried dragon fruit?

Known as pitaya in Guatemala, dragon fruit are covered in what looks like the pink-green scales of a mythical creature. They grow on spiny cacti but are smooth and supple to the touch. Some varieties have snow-white flesh speckled with black seeds. Slice one open here, though, and you’ll find that it’s a bold, bright, psychedelic magenta inside. A very fun color to eat.

For all the visual bravado, you’d think dragon fruit would be a flavor powerhouse, too. It’s not, but it is juicy and refreshing. It has the delicately sweet flavor of a pear or melon; its soft texture and crunchy seeds are like that of a kiwi. You can eat it like a kiwi, too: Just slice it in half and use a spoon to scoop out the tender flesh.

We’ve used dragon fruit in smoothies (mostly for color), but the majority we’ve simply eaten out of hand. I’m sure they’d be great in fruit salad or mixed into yogurt, too. What do you think? Have you tried this curious-looking fruit? If you have any tasty suggestions, please share!

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