Dragon fruit originates from Colombia and Venezuela in South America. From here the cultivation has spread to Asia, where Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia today are the main producers. The plant, on which the dragon fruit grows, is a cactus. Each plant produces limited numbers of fruits making mass cultivation quite difficult.
The red pitahaya is commonly called dragon fruit due to its external color and leaves. The fruit is green while growing. The red color only develops when the fruit matures and becomes ready to eat.
Dragon fruits can be divided into two main types: The white meat from Vietnam and Thailand and the red meat from Malaysia. The meat inside resembles the meat in Kiwis and is full of small black seeds. Taste wise the meat is very neutral, slightly sweet and very watery. Flavoring with lime or salt can enhance the taste.
The dragon fruit is used in slices as a decorative item with salads and desserts. Dragon fruit should be used fresh rather than coked. Dragon fruits are very useful when eating spicy food to reduce the burning sensation from chili.
Kept at 8-10 degrees, the dragon fruits can be kept for 8-10 days. Dragon fruits are best kept in bags to avoid dehydration.