We’ve seen the bright pink pitaya, commonly referred to as dragon fruit, in plenty of markets and grocery stores, but have always been somewhat intimidated by its prehistoric-looking exterior. So we asked the folks in our test kitchen for a quick lesson in preparing the tropical fruit. Native to Central America, dragon fruit has a creamy, dense flesh with a flavor somewhere between a kiwi and a pear—we like to think of it as the tropical version of a cucumber, refreshing but not overpoweringly sweet. But since the skin of dragon fruit is tough, leathery, and inedible, you’ll need to remove it to get at the fruit.
Start by cutting off the top and bottom of the fruit, and then cut the fruit in half lengthwise. Once open, use your fingers to gently peel off the pink skin; it should come off easily. The fruit is then ready to be cut into pieces and added to salads, smoothies, frozen drinks, or eaten on its own.