How to Tell If Dragon Fruit Is Ripe Enough to Be Eaten

How To Tell If Dragon Fruit Is Ripe

Dragon fruit has a unique appearance with its bright pink color and spiky tips. A dragon fruit not only looks appealing, but it is also delicious. It has a creamy texture with tiny seeds, and it tastes similar to kiwi and pear. But, many people don’t know how to tell if dragon fruit is ripe or not.

A ripe dragon fruit has a mild, sweet flavor. When unripe it is green. As it ripens, its skin looks leathery and bright pink, with yellow and green brown-tipped spines. It is white inside and contains black seeds which are edible. You can add dragon fruit to fruit salads, desserts, and smoothies.

How to Tell If Dragon Fruit Is Ripe or Not

Just by looking at the scales on the fruit, it is difficult for a person to know if the fruit is ripe. Here are four ways for you to know how to tell if dragon fruit is ripe.

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1. Check the color

By observing the color, you can tell if the dragon fruit is ripe. Unripe dragon fruit is green in color. As the fruit matures, the color of the fruit changes to pink with yellow in between.

When it is ripe, the color of the skin looks bright pink and even. A few dark spots on the skin is typical, but a large number of them indicate an overripe fruit.

2. Check for withered wings

The wings of the fruit are the leafy parts that extend from it. When the wings turn brown, dry out, or look withered, the fruit is ripe. If the wings are red or yellow in color, the fruit has yet to ripen.

3. Press the fruit with your thumb

You can tell if the dragon fruit is ripe by pressing on it. Hold the dragon fruit in your hand and gently press it with your thumb. The fruit should yield to light pressure, like a ripe mango or avocado.

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It should be soft but not mushy. A mushy fruit indicates that it is overripe, while a hard and firm fruit indicates it is unripe.

4. Smell the fruit

The fruit should have a sweet and fruity aroma. A tropical-like aroma indicates that the fruit is ripe.

How Do You Pick Dragon Fruit?

Now that you know how to tell if dragon fruit is ripe or not, you should know how to pick the right dragon fruit. The selection should depend on when you want to eat it. If you want to eat them on the same day, you will have to choose fully ripe fruits.

However, if you need them after two or three days, you can purchase unripe dragon fruit. Just leave them at room temperature for a few days, and they will be ready for you to eat. Once fully ripe, refrigerate them to prevent over-ripening. You should eat refrigerated dragon fruit within three to four days.

Be sure to check for damaged skin due to rough handling or transportation. Damaged fruit will have noticeable blemishes. If the fruit is shriveled, it indicates moisture loss. And, a brittle and shriveled stem indicates that it is an overripe dragon fruit.

How to Tell If a Dragon Fruit Is Rotten

Dragon fruits that have cuts and cracks or are split open, are damaged and rotten. If the flesh of the fruit has turned brown, it is rotten and must not be consumed. Its flesh should appear juicy yet firm in texture—a combination of a melon and pear.

Depending on the variety, the flesh of the fruit is white, deep pink, red, or purple in color. The seeds of a dragon fruit resemble those of a kiwi.

How to Eat a Dragon Fruit

After knowing how to tell if dragon fruit is ripe, you should also know how to cut it and eat it. To cut dragon fruit, you will need a sharp knife.

Put the fruit on a cutting board and chop off the core. Then, cut the fruit from the middle into two halves. Again, cut each half in half. If the dragon fruit is ripe, you will be able to slice easily.

Now you need to separate the flesh from the skin. To do this, simply scoop out the flesh by sliding a spoon between the flesh and the skin. Or, you can also loosen one corner of the skin and then pull out the flesh from the skin.

Cut the flesh into cubes and refrigerate. You can sprinkle lemon juice or black salt to enhance the flavor.

Now that you have all the facts, you should be able to know how to tell if dragon fruit is ripe. You should have this fruit often, as it has many health benefits. Dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.


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Sources:

“How to Cut and Eat Dragon Fruit,” Fab How; http://www.fabhow.com/how-to-cut-and-eat-dragon-fruit.html, last accessed April 26, 2017.

“How to Tell if a Dragon Fruit Is Ripe,” wikiHow; http://www.wikihow.com/Tell-if-a-Dragon-Fruit-Is-Ripe, last accessed April 26, 2017.