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Best way to eat dragonfruit (aka pitaya)

  • megek Oct 12, 2006 05:31 PM
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My friend and I bought these at the farmer's market because they are so pretty, and neither of us had ever tried one. She ate her's and claimed it tasted terrible, bland with chemical after-taste. It is *supposed* to taste something like a kiwi - it's the fruit of a type of cactus.

Before I cut mine open, any ideas for uses, other than eating as raw fruit? (In case mine tastes bad too). Is it better cooked or with addition of sugar?

Here are some basics:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitaya

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  1. Sept 26th thread...

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

    1 Reply
    1. re: JMF

      Oops, sorry for the double-post. I only searched the home cooking board.

    2. I've never had them fresh, but Trader Joe's had them dried. They were so pretty (purple and big) but tasted AWFUL! Kind of bland and with a definite sesame flavor. Making the most of TJ's wonderful policies, I brought them to the managers and asked for a refund. They gladly obliged and let me know that they didn't like them either.

      I would have hoped they'd be better fresh though...

      1 Reply
      1. re: kiwijen

        The dried version is nothing like the fresh version, absolutely nothing. Despite my dislike of raisins, at least the darned things taste similar enough to grapes, but dried dragonfruit was just weird and leathery. If you get a chance, pick up a nice fresh one, and you'll be quite pleasantly surprised by the difference in taste.

        As for the OP, did your friend, on a small chance, not peel the entire thing? I know that the first time I peeled a dragon fruit, I didn't realize that the pink skin was so thick so thought that it was just part of the fruit. (Fortunately, I was quickly corrected, but the pink skin, which I tried for the heck of it, taste a little on the awful side.) I agree with the other posters, though, in that dragonfruit definitely should not be cooked; if your fruit tastes bad, just toss it.

      2. Yeah, don't cook it. It would be like cooking a kiwi. Somewhere in the link someone provided, there is a recipe for a fruit salad with pineapple and mango, I think. For a flavorless dragonfruit, you might add sugar. There are also some hints in that thread about selecting a good dragonfruit, because when you get a good one they are delicious. Howver, it is like buying an apple from a supermarket, that's usually not going to be the best tasting one you can find.

        1. I live in Nicaragua and Red flesh Pitaya is plentiful. It is my favorite fruit to eat. Like you, I looked at it and wondered "What the hell is that". They are cheap enough here to experiment with (around $.50). My favorite way to eat it is to take the inside out and cut into cubes and pour flavored yogurt over it. I like rasberry yogurt with it. Another way to enjoy it is to put it into a blender with a little orange juice and sweetner (sugar, splenda preferably), and add a little milk or yogurt. I also am going to make it into some icecream. Just follow a simple icecream recipie and add when it is almost done. Yummy. Hope you enjoy!

          1. Something is wrong with the fruit. It's supposed to be somewhat like a kiwi, and maybe a hint of pear. The flavor is not strong at all like kiwi, very mild. But it shouldn't taste bad.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cee

              I agree. I ate my first Dragon Fruit recently, and the taste was like "cee" described.
              It certainly didn't taste bad, and at the time I thought that it had the potential of being really good, and that the one I picked might not have been quite ripe enough.

            2. If you have great sweet ones, then I agree that eating them plain as fruits is the best way to go!

              If you have ones that are not as sweet, you can make them into some Asian desserts (of course works for sweet ones as well!):
              - cut into pieces and drizzle with consdensed milk and eat!
              - mix with other Asian fruits like mangoes or papayas, add some kiwis or berries (basically any fruits you like), add tapioca balls and coconut milk, and have a cold fruity dessert "soup"
              - as toppings for ice-cream or shaved ice!
              - I have seen people using it for stir fry with chicken, but I don't really think it was interesting. I like it better as "sweet" dishes.