Pitaya, also know as pithaya or dragon fruit, is a type of cactus fruit. They are native to Mexico, Central America, South America and are also cultivated in East and Southeast Asian countries1. It is a mildly sweet fruit with an intense outer color. The most common variety has an outer skin color of vibrant pink or fuschia, though there are also yellow colored pityas.
Depending on the variety of pitaya, cutting open the tender fruit will reveal either an intense pink/red, white or, as in my case, a greyish fruit color. The juicy fruit flesh is splattered with edible little black seeds. The smell is of a mildly sweet summer fruit.
To eat a pitaya you must separate the inside from the other skin by peeling it away or scooping out the fruity flesh. The fruit can be enjoyed like so on its own, blended into a drink, served alongside other fruits for a salad, or if you creative enough pitaya can also be used as a cooking ingredient.
This was my first time eating pitaya. I bought one for hubby and I to share and try out. To enjoy the full flavors of the pitaya we ate it on its own. I sliced the fruit in half, used a spoon to scoop around the inside, then cut it up into bite size pieces.
As we ate the pitaya we spoke about the mildly sweet flavor. In a way it reminds you of eating a kiwi with all the little seeds, but it doesn’t taste like one. Since this is a cactus fruit it will also remind you of a tuna or prickly pear fruit. I grew up eating those and though the looks and texture were quite similar the flavor of a tuna is more memorable than the pitaya. In the end we agreed that it most resembled a juicy piece of melon. Hubby said he found it to have a slight tart aftertaste.
The verdict, we both like it, I more than he. Next time I hope to find the variety with the bright pink inside. I hear that variety is slightly more flavorful than the white or greyish variety we had.
How about you, have you ever tried pitaya or dragon fruit? Did you enjoy it? Do share.
Happy Sunday everyone!