The Most Disappointing Fruit Ever: Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit looks like it should taste awesome. It looks exotic and beautiful and so tantalizing that you think it must be delicious inside. And it has an awesome name.

The outside looks so good (picture taken from the public domain)

The outside looks so good (picture taken from the public domain)

But dragon fruit doesn’t really taste like anything. It’s super bland. It’s not sweet, it’s not sour, it’s not tart, it’s not refreshing–it just kind of… is.

Eating dragon fruit is like meeting a man or woman who’s really physically attractive and you’re really into it and then you have sex for the first time and he/she just lies there like a dead fish and it’s terrible. Attractive exterior, but can’t back it up with the real goods.

During my time in Bali, though, I found out that there’s more than one type of dragon fruit, and the other types are better.

Dragon fruit with red flesh (picture taken from public domain)

Dragon fruit with red flesh (picture taken from the public domain)

The dragon fruit that you normally find is red on the outside, has white flesh, and tastes like nothing. There’s also a version that looks the same on the outside, but the inside has red flesh, and this version is decently tasty. I’d still choose most other tropical fruits over the red flesh dragon fruit, but at least it’s sweet and tastes like something.

So if you ever get the chance, try the red flesh dragon fruit. It won’t blow your mind, but at least it helps justify dragon fruit’s awesome name and exterior. Be warned, though, that it will turn some of your bodily excretions red if you eat enough (similar to what beets do, so don’t freak out).

48 thoughts on “The Most Disappointing Fruit Ever: Dragon Fruit

  1. Pingback: Chai Digest: World Unraveling and the Most Disappointing Fruit - Rapid Travel Chai

  2. Lawrence Michaels

    I was just eating dragon fruit for the bajillionth time and found it bland as usual. So I’m thinking, is it just me or does dragon fruit suck as a fruit? So I google “is dragon fruit suppose to be sweet?” and sure enough, I find this article, and it’s not just me. It’s good to know that I haven’t just been unlucky.

    1. robinsong01

      I ate Dragon Fruit in Singapore and really liked it. Just bought some at a local NW supermarket and it was very disappointed. It’s not just you!

  3. Shannon

    Just tried dragon fruit for the first time, white flesh. I had to google why it tasted so bland and came across your blog post. I had to know if I was missing something. I haven’t been able to find the pink flesh dragon fruit where I live, but always the white. I finally broke down and purchased two and I have to agree.. very disappointing and extremely bland. I won’t be buying them again.. unless maybe it’s the pink flesh, just to say I gave both a try.

  4. crow

    I just bought a dragonfruit a second time after trying it a few years back. Back then I thought I picked an unripe one and that’s why it was bland. But today after reading tips on how to pick a ripe one…I’m equally as disappointed! I love the way it looks, I love the texture it has…but it has no flavor or smell. I found the dragonfruit to be SLIGHTLY sour by the rind so that gave me an idea to pour a little lemon juice in it. Made it better but it’s not worth it for the price. Not going to buy again, papayas are better!

  5. Chieko

    I made a sweet, sour, salty sauce with the dragonfruit, some homemade Japanese pickled plum (pits excluded), grated ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice, and some orange extract. Very tasty and there is a hint of dragonfruit flavor. It’s a nice condiment and everyone is impressed by the fact it’s made from dragonfruit. Great with eggrolls and as a dipping sauce for pork and chicken.

    But I agree, bland. Lemon juice helps and a bit of sweetener. It’s a very nutritious fruit but rather expensive for not having flavor on its own.

    1. Alice Harmon

      I had Dragon Fruit in a Dragon fruit drink from Starbucks. It was Not distasteful as it had an ever so slight sweet washed out flavor. Unfortunately for me.. I had an extreme allergic reaction. I am ONLY The 3rd person (according to the internet) to have had such an episode after drinking a Dragon fruit drink. Symptom were Extreme Itching, Hives from my chest to my feet, tongue tingling,dizziness,heart racing, Nausea. Although this was my 1st time trying it.I don’t care to repeat the experience. again.

  6. Nancy

    I normally don’t eat a lot of fruit as it’s too sweet and acidic. I’m happy to eat a dragon fruit because it’s just right for sweetness. It tastes like prickly pear, another cactus fruit. Whereas with pickly pear you spend so much time trying to tweezer out its fine skin hair that’s penetrated your skin and try to remove the knobbly seeds stuck in your teeth, the dragon fruit has smooth and easy to peel skin and its texture is magnificently silky with fine crackly seeds.
    If the taste is too bland for you, use it where you don’t want the taste to overwhelm, where its fine texture will be appreciated or just as a show piece to enhance the the appearance of any table setting.

  7. James

    I always thought the white flesh ones tasted bland, then I tried the ones grown in Southern Vietnam and they have just a little hint of sweetness. They taste best if they have been refrigerated and served cold.

  8. Tim

    I imagine supermarkets have non ripe ones that were picked early to help with shelf life. I’m wondering if a homegrown one would taste sweeter if it was left to fully Ripken on the tree.

  9. Tina Wiggins

    I taste nothing…I am swirling this fruit around my mouth and it doesn’t have a taste at all. It is the weirdest sensation to feel it, chew it and still not have any flavor in my mouth.

    1. Kayfabe

      I think white flesh dragonfruit tastes salty. Mild salty with mild sweet and to me, it has flavor. I like it. I also like the texture because of the seeds

  10. Traveler123450

    I had dragon fruit in SE Asia and it was super sweet and I fell in love with the fruit. However the dragon fruits here in the US taste pretty bland, so much that I’ve grown a distaste for them. Also, other fruits like tangerine tasted soooo sweet in good in Asia that I buy a couple of fresh squeezed through out the day while in Thailand. I think the bland flavors here in the US could’ve due to weather and unripped fruit being sold.

  11. Nomad

    As Traveler123450 said, it is only your dragin fruits that taste bland. Do you know where they come from?

    Here in Thailand, and in many other tropical places i’ve been to, dragon fruit when ripe is sweet (unfortunately usually in parts and not 100% of the fruit, much like with watermelon where not all parts are equally sweet) and when it is sweet then the taste is amazing. Together with the texture – one if if not THE best fruit textures i know – it can be a really divine fruit. If you get a mostly sweet one…

    At least the none sweet part is just bland and not sour or worst like in many other fruit…

  12. Sharon

    The very first dragonfruit I ever ate was a pink one with a white inside from a Brooklyn Chinatown market. It was incredibly sweet and delicious. Every one I’ve ever tried since then has been bland and dissapointing. I think it has something to do with where or in what it’s grown and when it’s picked.

  13. Sharon

    p.s. . . i found this blog because I thought maybe I was cutting it at the wrong time for sweetness, and was trying to look that up, but apparently that’s not it.

  14. Jon

    Yes, it is pretty bland. I just tried one for the first time today. But, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If it wasn’t so expensive I would use it in recipes where I need something that will not affect the other flavors. I’m thinking perhaps a curry made with dragonfruit.

  15. True

    I Googled ‘what to do with unsweet dragon fruit.’ I read where the fruit was so very sweet. After many tries I gave up trying to find a decent tasting dragon fruit. However, I had purchased several of them the last time and at the cost of them I wasn’t about to throw them out. I decided to cut 2 of them into chunk size pieces and drizzled fresh lime juice, salt, and a little red pepper over them. One I diced and mixed it in a green salad and the last one I cut-up and added it to a curry dish I was preparing at the time. Waste not, want not and the dishes were delicious!

  16. Janice

    White dragon fruit is actually really good, it pretty much tastes like kiwi, but less tangy and sour. It’s among some of my favorite fruits.

  17. michele bisnott

    Sweet, sour, bitter, bland fruits are all part of Mother Nature’s offerings to us. She has provided so much variety for us why be disappointed!
    Does it really matter how it tastes?!
    Isn’t it the nutrients that matters!
    Aloe vera gel is bland/tasteless yet very beneficial.
    Blend or eat the Dragon fruit with other fruits for its nutritive purpose and stop whining about the flavor, my children. Peace n love.

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  21. Ko Chang

    The problem is, you’re buying fruit that’s imported and picked 2-3 weeks early for shipping so it hasn’t ripened and no sugar build up. There are hundreds if not thousands of Dragon fruit varieties out there. They all have their own taste and physical attributes. I’m currently growing over 90 varieties of dragon fruits and I know others that have hundreds of varieties. I highly recommend buying from a home grower fruits that are ripened on the branch. Some varieties will be sweeter and more complex then others. While some are just naturally plain yet huge and beautiful with its own purposeful use. If you’re basing your decision off a store bought dragon fruit, then you haven’t tasted what a real Dragon fruit should taste like. I’d you live in a climate that you can grow your own. I would definitely recommend doing so. But buy from local grown so you can taste the fruit and get cuttings directly from that plant. Buying online you may get scammed with fake cuttings that aren’t what you ordered. So do your homework first and buy local orvfrom a recommended seller.

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