Dragon Fruit Season Is Here

I think it’s time to proclaim 2014 as “The Year of the Dragon Fruit.”

It’s been 20 years since we first introduced Pitaya (also known as “Pitahaya”). Yes, that’s what Dragon Fruit was called 20 years ago, and we sold the first fruit.

Dragon Fruit is native to Mexico and is the fruit of several types of cactus (Hylocereus is the official genus). I have visited Dragon Fruit plantings, most recently in Israel earlier this year. They are beautiful and green. When the fruit is in season, the bright-colored fruits are picture-perfect. Unlike most other plants, these cacti flower at night. When the heat is just right, the plants can go from flowering to being filled with ripe fruit within 24 hours!

Two main types of Dragon Fruit are available in the U.S.—white-fleshed and red-fleshed. For much of the year, the white-fleshed fruit comes from Vietnam. We bring it both by boat and by air. When the U.S. season starts, we have fruit from California, Texas, and Florida; because Dragon Fruit are subtropical, they naturally grow in warm states. You can read more here about the three main types of Dragon Fruit.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Dragon Fruit Display

The red-fleshed fruit is rarer. We have a few growers here in California and in Florida. This season we are bringing in the red-fleshed Dragon Fruit from Nicaragua.

The great news is that both the white-fleshed and red-fleshed fruit are available right now. I predict you will start to see a large display in your supermarket very soon. If you shop in an Asian market (like our local Ranch 99 Markets in Southern California), you may see a HUGE display in the produce department.

IMG_2077

What do Dragon Fruit taste like? To me, they have the texture and flavor of a mild Kiwifruit. Nutritionally, they are rich in antioxidants and in vitamin C. They also supply fiber.

In addition to that wonderful flavor and those nutritional benefits, Dragon Fruit is very eye-catching! So, next time you’re making a summer fruit platter, add a little pizzazz by slicing up some Dragon Fruit.

Enjoy!

Karen

9 thoughts on “Dragon Fruit Season Is Here

      • Since you say dragon fruit is available year-round in America, please advise me as to where I may purchase a pink dragon fruit in New York City in early Spring (March/April) as an addition to a Passover seder plate. I need a pink-colored fruit, and the only other option I can think of would be an unusually pale pomegranate (which is not always readily available). Thank you.
        Jeffrey Herman
        jpherman36@yahoo.com

        • Hello Jeffrey, we’re saying that in general dragon fruits are available year-round, but certain varieties are still quite seasonal. The red flesh ones you’re looking for will start in June and could go as long as through March the following year. They’re usually be out of season by Passover.

  1. My saying, in my previous message, that you have indicated that there is now year-round availability of dragon fruit in the U.S. was in error. I believe now that this information came from another site on Google, but I did indeed read it somewhere. Please advise. Thank you. (Again, I need to purchase a PINK dragon fruit in early Spring (March/April) in New York City, as a symbolic addition to a Passover seder plate.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *