You might be one of the few people like me who always want to know how some fruits or foods taste and smell like before trying them out.
Before I first tasted a dragon fruit (also known as Pitaya or Pitahaya), I used to see it on grocery shelves and wonder if a weird-looking pink fruit would actually excite my taste buds.
If that sounds like you, then follow this article to understand a few things about the dragon fruit; from its general taste, smell, varieties, and more.
Since the smell of the dragon fruit is the main focal point of this article, I would generally describe its smell as a mild grassy or herbal smell that you would expect from succulent tropical fruits like melons, pears, or kiwi fruit.
But first, let’s take a glimpse into some other aspects of this exotic fruit.
What does dragon fruit look like?
The dragon fruit is an oval-shaped fruit that is usually green before ripening and purplish-pink or yellow when ripe.
The inside flesh is either white with black seeds or purplish-pink with black seeds depending on the variety.
A typical mature dragon fruit is a medium-sized fruit almost the size of an average mature yellow skin mango.
It weighs about 10 ounces (280 grams) and measures about 15cm in length.
The fruit comes in three common varieties that are usually distinguished by their external and internal colors and taste.
The varieties are:
1. Yellow dragon fruit variety
As the name suggests, the yellow variety has yellow skin with protruding scale flaps.
The inside is a white succulent flesh with numerous tiny black edible seeds scattered all over the flesh.
2. Pink/purple variety
This variety has a bright-looking pink purplish skin with thorn-like protruding scale flaps that gives it its weird dragon-like appearance when ripe.
3. Purplish-red skin variety
The outer skin of this variety is almost similar to the pink variety mentioned above but the inside is deep red with black seeds.
Where does dragon fruit come from
The dragon fruit is an exotic fruit with its origin traced back to South America. The fruit comes from a species of climbing cactus plants cultivated in America, Israel, and parts of Asia.
The fruit flourishes in tropical lowland climates and is a perennial night bloomer that prefers a warm and moist environment with rich soils.
The dragon fruits in the US market come from local commercial farms, mostly in Southern California or areas under USDA zone 9, 10, and 11.
To satisfy the growing demand in the US, most of it is imported from the aforementioned production regions as an exotic fruit.
What does dragon fruit taste like?
Since it comes in different varieties, the fruit also comes in different tastes.
Generally, a ripe dragon fruit will have mildly sweet creamy taste with crunchy seeds that gives it a subtle sourness and herbal aftertaste reminiscent of passion fruit seeds or kiwi fruit.
Is dragon fruit sweet
Basically, I wouldn’t classify the dragon fruit in the same sweetness bracket as some of the sweetest fruits but I would say it is tasty and very much appealing to the tongue.
So, yes, the dragon fruit is generally sweet and is something you should go for if you are looking for that subtle sweet fruity taste to add to your fruit salad.
Does it really taste like nothing?
Taste like nothing? not really! If you are wondering if this is one of those fruits that are tasteless, then you might be in for a surprise.
The pink skin, white flesh varieties might be a little bit bland but not anywhere near tasting like nothing.
The red flesh and the yellow skin varieties are actually very sweet and succulent.
If yours tastes like nothing, you could be eating an under-ripened or unripe dragon fruit
Does dragon fruit have a smell?
A ripe dragon fruit doesn’t have a strong and clearly distinct smell. Its smell is so mild that most people will say it doesn’t smell of anything.
If you come across a strongly smelling dragon fruit, it is either the fruit is severely rotten or it is somewhat contaminated.
However, it is a fruit and it surely has to have a smell of some sort.
Ripe vs unripe fruit smell
Just like most edible fruits, you should be able to distinguish a ripe and unripe dragon fruit by the smell of its skin and flesh.
What does an unripe dragon fruit smell like?
Simply put, it just tastes like what you would expect of any other unripe fruit; a grassy and herbal smell that is a characteristic of fibrous plants.
What does a ripe dragon fruit smell like?
On the contrary, ripe dragon fruits have a fresh, sweet, and fruity smell reminiscent of most ripe tropical fruits.
The smell is not as strong as other fragrant fruits but it can be picked from a pile of ripe dragon fruits in a fruit basket or in a shelf.
When cut open, the smell isn’t as pronounced as you would expect but the freshness in the aroma is enough to make you want to take a huge bite of the succulent flesh.
Pink vs yellow Variety smell
The three varieties of dragon fruit have a slight smell variation that you can pick out if you pay attention to the flavor essence after peeling the fruit.
What does pink/purple dragon fruit smell like?
The dragon fruit with pink skin and white flesh has a grassy herbal flavor that is more pronounced than the other varieties. It has a mild smell almost similar to a watermelon
On the flip side, the variety with the purple-red flesh has a sweet smell that exudes flavors similar to a ripe honeydew melon or pear.
What does yellow dragon fruit smell like?
The yellow dragon fruit variety is the sweetest and also has a sweet caramelish smell that is common with many tropical fruits such as bananas.
So, does the fruit smell bad?
I wouldn’t say I found the smell of any dragon fruit appalling. As I said before, unless the fruit is rotten or contaminated, you won’t describe its smell as bad.
On the contrary, its mild flavor makes it smell fresh and sweet especially when ripe.
Does dragon fruit make you poop smell bad?
Absolutely not. As funny as it may seem, there are actually foods that can make your poop smell worse than the poop smell you know.
Dragon fruit is not one of them. Just enjoy the fruit and let the digestive system take care of the rest.
Does dragon fruit make you pee smell bad?
Just like the poop dilemma, there is no correlation between dragon fruit and urine smell.
If you find your pee smelling like a dragon fruit you just ate, you might want to see your doctor because there could be an underlying health issue.
Where to buy dragon fruits
In the US, the dragon fruit can be found in your local grocery stores, Farmers markets, ethnic markets, Safeway, Whole Foods, Kroger, and Publix.
You can also buy dragon fruits in online stores such as Amazon, Thrive Market, and Walmart.
The online stores provide a platform where you can get the fruit in different forms such as:
- Fresh dragon fruits
- freeze-dried dragon fruit
- Organic dragon fruits
- Dragon fruit powder
Dragon fruit FAQs
1. Do dragon fruit flowers smell?
Yes. After blooming, the flowers of a dragon fruit exhume sweet fresh floral fragrance. The sweet floral scent has been part of the inspiration in the fragrance industry for making dragon fruit perfumes.
2. Can dogs have dragon fruit?
Absolutely! Dragon fruit is not toxic to dogs, so it should not pose any problems if eaten by dogs.
However, it should be moderated because just like other fruits, it’s not a recommended delicacy for dogs.
3. Can you eat dragon fruit skin?
Yes. The skin of a dragon fruit is not toxic to humans and can be included in some delicacies such as vegetable salads for those adventurous enough with their culinary experiments.
It is however not as tasty as its flesh since eating the fibrous flaps leaves you with a salty and leathery taste that can ruin your dragon fruit flavor experience.
4. When is the dragon fruit season in the US?
The fruit is typically harvested through the summer and it peaks in the months of July August and September.
This is just the local production calendar. However, you can find the fruit in the market all year round since most of it is imported.
5. Does dragon fruit increase testosterone?
No. Several research studies carried out on the levels of testosterone show no correlation between consumption of dragon fruits and the levels of testosterone in men. It is just one of those nutritional myths thrown around in some sections where vendors and food marketers want to ride on a popular and sensational trend to make sales.