Mmm, Pitahaya. Also known as Dragon Fruit.

Jun 30, 2008

The other day I stopped by the Wal-Mart and saw something I hadn't seen before. It was called Pitahaya, according to the sign above it. I'm always adventurous, so I decided to buy one and see how it was. They had a few sliced open, so I picked one that was of a similar firmness to the one that was open.

When I got home I looked it up on the internet and it's also called Red Dragon Fruit. I think I've heard of Dragon Fruit somewhere, sometime, but I had certainly never tried it.
The flesh inside is smooth and juicy. It is sort of like a kiwi and actually somewhat similar in flavor, though the one I had wasn't quite as sweet. I ate it by slicing it in half and then scooping out the flesh with a spoon. I had read on the internet that they're better chilled, so I ate half as a snack and put the rest in the fridge for breakfast.

Apparently these delectable treats are grown right here in Mexico. I love that there are so many strange fruits I've never tasted here. Recently I saw a Mamey in the produce section but wasn't sure what it was. I thought it was a potato, but it's actually a melon-type fruit.

Yesterday I bought a bunch of guayas. Check back here for my review of that tomorrow.


Ale said...

Oh wow! I lived in Mexico, but never tried pitahayas. They are more.. mmm tropical? I've had mamey!! (also the slang mamey is to call someone really strong, rambo looking heh you get the idea!) Aaaaaah fresh juicy fruits (AND cheap!), how much I miss them!!

Jeff said...

I have seen these in the supermarket before, but have never tried them. I guess they're also called strawberry pears??!! They look really good, so I'll have to get some next time I'm at the grocery store.

A little related to your blog post: I studied Spanish in Granada, Spain a couple of years ago, and it wasn't until half-way through the semester that I learned that granada in Spanish means pomegranate (which is actually grown locally). An interesting fact is that the sidewalk posts are adorned with intricately designed pomegranates!

mexpat said...

Ale- they're supposedly a type of cactus fruit, but I have no idea what part of Mexico they grow in. I haven't seen anything like the type of tree they grow on here on the Yucatan Peninsula (not that I'm an expert on plant life here, though).

Sounds like I should try a mamey of both sorts- LOL... Just kidding... don't tell hubby I said that! :)

Jeff- Strawberry pears could be the same- they do look vaguely like a cross between the two.

Do they have pomegranates in lots of dishes in Granada? I love them, but they can be so messy. Yet another place I'll need to visit! :)

Anna said...

these look like something I ate in Indonesia. I am pleased mangos are available in Mex. I hear strawberries are hard to come by.

Michele in Playa said...

We have a very large mameyy tree in our yard that regularly drops fruit. The fruit are so heavy and dense, we can hear the "thud" from anywhere in the house. I'm not a big mamey fan but I do like dragonfruit!

Anonymous said...

Hola Mexpats!

Cool blog.

Having spent a lot of time in Mexico and also having a Vietnamese ex-boyfriend, I can tell you that Americans are seriously fruit-deficient. Aside from about 20 varieties of apple, there really isn't that much variety in the fruit department here, if you know what I mean. ;)

But Mexico is full of interesting fruits, most of which are fabulous. Have you tried guanabana? It's kind of a sweet/tart fruit. You can get guanabana juice, which is terrific.

The same fruit is available here in cans in Vietnamese markets and the English label calls it "soursop."

I look forward to reading the rest of your blog.


Kim G
Boston, MA

Steve Cotton said...

Like Kim, I just ran across your blog. Interesting stuff. I am adding you to my blogroll -- unless you would prefer that I did not.

Tom and Debi said...

The pitayas are indeed tasty. They grow from a cactus vine that climbs and they have the most beautiful flower that blooms early in the morning and only lasts one day, then produces the fruit. I've seen fields of them where they are planted on trees that aer kept short so that the trees is the support system. I have a plant in my yard, but I don'tknow how old the plant must be to produce flowers/fruit.
I like to have them whole on the table for guests to admire their beauty, then slice them open and serve the halves with a spoon as a starter to a meal. Very light and refreshing.

mexpat said...

Hey Anna- They have strawberries in the stores with some regularity, though they can be expensive. Since I love papayas and pineapple, I usually buy lots of them and just buy frozen strawberries for smoothies and stuff.

Michele- Mameys seem like they could do some serious damage! Lol! I've gotta try one before they're out of the stores.

Hi Kim- Thanks for stopping by the blog! I've heard of guanabana but haven't tried it. Recently I tried some tamarind things and I'm not a huge fan of the flavor.

American supermarkets have LARGE fruits- like full of steroids, but short on flavor. I love all the variety here, especially the things the ladies with the fruit carts sell!

Hi Steve- thanks for stopping by and thanks for the link! I'll head over and read up on your blog!

Debi- I finally saw a pitahaya plant for the first time this weekend while we were visiting Valladolid. What an interesting looking plant! The one I saw had two fruits growing on it.

They're certainly beautiful and a really nice way to start breakfast!

Lorenzo said...

Hi there. I first experienced a pitaya when I was visiting Sonora Mexico about 20 years ago. My dad grew up in the outskirts of Hermosillo (state capital of Sonora)in a small town called San Javier. On our 2 hour drive from Hermosillo to San Javier we stopped to collect and eat these fruits. My dad obviously grew up eating these treats. But the ones found in the Sonoran desert are the red interior kind and I recall they did taste like sweet strawberries or kiwi. It's been a long time since I've had one or seen one. I now live in San Diego, California and I am trying to find them. I did find a site that states that a local Vietnamese produce store carries the white-interior variety imported from Asia....which must be good but not what I had back then.