Dragon fruit is a food that grows on a climbing cactus called hylocereus, which you’ll find in tropical regions around the world. The plant’s name comes from the Greek word “hyle,” which means “woody,” and the Latin word “cereus,” which means “waxen.”
On the outside, the fruit has the appearance of a hot pink or yellow bulb with spike-like green leaves shooting up like flames around it. Cut it open, and you’ll find fleshy white stuff inside dotted with black seeds that are OK to eat.
This fruit comes in red- and yellow-skinned varieties. The cactus originally grew in southern Mexico and South and Central America. The French brought it to Southeast Asia in the early 19th century.
Central Americans call it “pitaya.” In Asia, it’s a “strawberry pear.” Today, you can buy dragon fruit throughout the U.S.
Dragon fruit is juicy with a slightly sweet taste that some describe as a cross between a kiwi, a pear, and a watermelon. The seeds have a nutty flavor.