For a fruit that's been around since the 16th century, dragon fruit in the Philippines is still vastly underrated.
But although dragon fruit has mostly served as an ornamental plant in the past, it is fast becoming a local culinary favorite.
And its vibrant and distinct appearance—ranging from pink to yellow, with leathery or leafy skin, whose "scales" look like blossoming petals and flesh that varies from white to red—is just one of the many interesting things about this booming crop.
Also known as Pitaya elsewhere in Asia, the dragonfruit is truly unique in taste. Its exact flavor is often hard to pin down or fully describe. Some liken its earthy sweetness to a cross between a strawberry and a pear, while others describe it as more resemblant of kiwi.
The first Dragonfruit festival was held in Ilocos, a vast region in Northern Philippines, back in 2011, where the crop is especially abundant.
Around this region, local farms extensively propagate and cultivate the fruit plant, excellently doing their part in boosting the livelihood of local farming community. And the dragon fruit industry has indeed proven to be a lucrative one. Tons of dragon fruit have been exported locally and internationally from the region in the past decade alone.
Aside from being low in calories, one dragon fruit is packed with loads of vitamins C, B1, B2 and B3. They're also abundant in minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. What's more, they're exceptionally rich in fiber, protein and omega essential fatty acids.
And it's not just the fruit pulp or flesh that's packed with good stuff, the amazing properties of dragon fruit extend to its flowers and stems, too. These parts of the dragon fruit can be used to make vegan, organic products like dragon fruit soap or medication that promotes blood circulation.
Its flowers, when dried, can serve delicious culinary uses, too. They can be used in making hopia or moon cake. Its roots can be made into a type of tea and fruit coffee.
Dragon fruit can also be made into Filipino spring rolls (lumpiang shanghai), ice cream, cookies, jam, or wine.
In the Ilocos region, dragon fruit peel has even been used to make "pink noodles," a delicacy that showcases the innovativeness and resourcefulness of local food researchers.
And best of all, dragon fruit can used to make delicious snacks!
Just Fruit locks in all the good flavor and nutrients of dragonfruit in tasty chips with a pleasantly unique texture with their freeze-dried Dragon Fruit.
Once you open this unique snack, the smell of fresh dragon fruit will greet you. At first bite, each all-natural chip has a delightful crunch, then it soon melts in the mouth, perfectly capturing the earthy sweetness we love about dragon fruit.
You can find this inventive, delicious treat in our Summer Harvest Chibundle, a collection of the freshest, homegrown treats that showcase the best flavors of Philippine summertime.
Order yours today! Click here.
images above: pexels, pixabay