What is the strangest fruit you've ever seen? Whatever it is, most people have unique and intriguing experiences to share. One such peculiar fruit is the dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, indigenous to the Pacific coast regions of South America. But apart from its strange appearance, pitaya has baffled many with its preparation method. So, how is it done? Learn how to cut dragon fruit like a pro.
Dragon fruit is known for its distinctively textured leather-like skin and scaly spikes. The subtly flavoured pitaya has different varieties, the most prevalent being the vibrant red or pink variation. Rarer types sport a yellow exterior. The flesh of these fruit species can vary in taste, ranging from sweet to tangy, and comes in white, yellow, or even red shades.
How to cut dragon fruit
Pitaya is tasty and packed with tropical tanginess and flavour. But to eat it, you must remove the inedible skin to reach the goodness inside. Cutting dragon fruit can seem daunting due to its unique texture. However, with the proper technique, the process is simple and rewarding.
If you are wondering how to cut dragon fruit, here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to go about it.
1. Cut in half
Start by washing your pitaya and place it on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the edges first to remove the stems. Then, cut your pitaya lengthwise to expose the juicy flesh. If you don't want to remove the stems, start cutting from the top into the thicker part to the bottom.
2. Remove the skin
You can remove the skin before or after cutting the pitaya into two halves. If removing before, opt for a more ripe one, as peeling is more effortless. If removing afterwards (after cutting), you can use a large spoon to scoop out the pitaya flesh, leaving the peel separate.
3. Cut into smaller pieces
After peeling or removing the skin, what is left is cutting and serving your pitaya. There are three methods for cutting dragon fruit into smaller pieces. You can cut into slices, cubes or spheres.
- Slices: You can cut your dragon fruit into pieces (thick or thin) depending on the intended purpose.
- Cubes: Start with slices, then cut lengthwise and turn and cut in the opposite direction to create cubes.
- Spheres: For spheres, use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh while the skin is still intact.
How to eat dragon fruit
What does dragon fruit taste like? According to Food Network, pitaya offers distinct flavours depending on its ripeness. When fully ripe, it has a subtly sweet taste similar to a mix of kiwi and pear. When unripe, the product has no noticeable flavour.
What is the correct way to eat a dragon fruit? There is no right or wrong method of eating a dragon fruit. Depending on the ripeness, you could peel it or cut it in half and eat it from its peel. Here are other ways to eat your pitaya.
Dice into cubes
Dicing into cubes is the most popular method when learning how to cut dragon fruit like a pro. If you love fruit salads, cut it into slices or cubes, mix and serve. Pair it with other tropical fruits like mangoes and pineapples for the best salad.
Dragon fruit is a great smoothie base. Dice it with your preferred accompaniments like bananas, blueberries and kiwi in preparation for blending. Add your preferred base of yoghurt or milk, adding sugar or honey for taste. Blend to desired consistency and enjoy.
You might be surprised that some prefer grilled fruits over fresh ones. Dragon fruit kebabs are ideal, especially roasted with similar tropical produce like mangoes, kiwi and pineapples. Fire up your burner or charcoal stove, and use skewers to grill your pitaya.
Make a sorbet
A sorbet is a frozen dessert made using ice combined with fruit juice, puree, or other ingredients. After making your pitaya sorbet, serve on the halves you scooped flesh from (for presentation) and eat with any light pastry.
How do you know if a dragon fruit is ripe?
Depending on the variety, the ripe pitaya should be bright pink or yellow. In addition, the outer skin should be radiant and even-coloured but not with a lot of dark blotches, as that signifies over-ripening.
What are the health benefits of dragon fruit?
According to Web Md, pitaya is a nutritious, fat-free fruit rich in antioxidants that protect cells from damage. It may help lower blood sugar and contains prebiotics that support gut health. Its high vitamin C content boosts the immune system and aids iron absorption for energy production and oxygen transport in the body.
There you have it, a detailed guide on how to cut dragon fruit. Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is a product of several different cactus species indigenous to southern Mexico and other areas along the Pacific coasts. Pitaya derives its name from the leather-like skin and scaly spikes on the fruit exterior.
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