Dragon fruit, or pitaya, are cactus fruit that come in three types. They can have either red or yellow skin. The varieties with red skin can have white or red flesh, while the yellow-skinned variety has white flesh. For any of the three varieties, you can determine if a dragon fruit is ripe by looking at and touching the fruit before eating. If you grow your own dragon fruits, harvest your fruits at the right time to ensure ripeness.
Looking at a Dragon Fruit to Determine its Ripeness
- When ripe the outer skin should be bright and even-colored. If the fruit has a lot of dark blotches on the skin, similar to bruises on an apple, then it may be overripe. A few spots, however, are normal.
- Once the dragon fruit has reached the stage of ripeness where the wings start to wither, the fruit should come off the vine fairly easily with a light twist. If the fruit falls off the vine on its own, it is overripe.
- When a dragon fruit is overripe the inner flesh will turn brown in color, similar to the bruised flesh of a banana. You should not eat fruit that is brown or dried out.