Is Dragon Fruit the Next "It" Food?
Dragon fruit has recently been making appearances in everything from herbal teas to yogurts. Dragon-fruit-infused liquors are showing up on cocktail menus -- and the scent is even being featured in candles and dish soap.
Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is a white-fleshed fruit adorned with petite black edible seeds. Vibrant green leaves shoot from its fuchsia skin. Some varieties have yellow skin and darker flesh.
Fresh, dried and canned dragon fruit can be found at some specialty markets and online. The fruits can get expensive, with some fresh imports selling for more than $10 apiece.
Dragon fruit is low in calories and high in vitamin C and fiber. The seeds contain a small amount of heart-healthy fats and the flesh boasts cell-protecting antioxidants like lycopene and the lesser known phytoalbumins.
Despite its show-stopping appearance and ferocious name, dragon fruit has a mild watermelon-like flavor with a soft and somewhat grainy texture. It pairs well with the sweetness of berries, kiwi and honey.
Dragon fruits are in season from late summer through December. The fruit -- which forms from a nocturnal cactus plant that blooms at night (under a full moon no less) -- is native to Central and South America and is now domestically grown in Hawaii, California and southern Florida.