Recently I learned about this beautiful and a bit bizarre looking fruit called Dragonfruit or Pitaya. It is the fruit of several cactus species. They can weigh anywhere from 150 to 600 grams. On the outside it is a bright pink with green tips on the leaves or scales. On the inside it is white (there is a pink species as well) with a massive amount of black seeds.
To prepare a pitaya for consumption, the fruit is cut open to expose the flesh. The fruit’s texture is sometimes linked to that of the kiwifruit because of its black, crunchy seeds. The flesh, which is eaten raw, is mildly sweet and low in calories. The seeds are eaten together with the flesh, have a nutty taste and are rich in lipids, but they are indigestible unless chewed.
The mild taste of pitaya flesh is often remarked upon, as it stands in such contrast to the vibrant exterior. The taste is actually very bland, like a melon or kiwifruit and a little bit sweet.
Piatya turns out to be a very healthy fruit. The positive sides of the Pitaya are:
– Lots of vitamin C
– Vitamin B1
– Rich in minerals(for example calcium)
– Healthy fats
– Rich in fiber
Pitaya can be used in various ways. Of course you can just cut the flesh out and eat it right away. It can be eaten dried as well. Pitaya is very nice in salads, or in the dressing of a salad. It works very well in smoothies and you can make nice desserts with it as well. This site has a lot of nice recipes with Pitaya. I personally tried to make a dessert with coconut and cashews. I liked it, although it might not really be dessert-like, but my parents didn’t think it was any good.
In the Netherlands, you don’t see them too often, sometimes supermarkets sell them as a seasonal product, but your best bet is the market. That is where I found mine as well. If you have never tried one, you should definetely get your hands on one once.