Pitahaya was appreciated not only for its taste, but also for the large number of fruits that were collected during its ripening. The Indians ate the flesh, and the seeds were ground, fried and then used to make the stew.
Today, pitahaya is grown on farms in Mexico, in some countries of South America, in Israel and in Vietnam, where this fruit is called the "dragon fruit."
The pitahaya plant is such a tree-like cactus with juicy fruits ripening at the ends of its stems. These fruits are, depending on the type, different size, color of the skin and pulp, but they all contain a large number of black seeds. And in order to enjoy the flesh of this exotic fruit, you first need to free yourself from the seeds.
And yet, how to eat pitahaya correctly, and what can be prepared from it? Pitahaya fruits are actively used in cooking, as well as in the manufacture of various alcoholic drinks. Pulp and fruit juice are added to ice cream, sweets, sorbets, yoghurts and other dairy products. The pulp is used in the manufacture of sauces, jellies and jams. In Spain, for example, fruit juice is mixed with lemon or lime juice to make cool summer cocktails.
The results of medical research have shown that pitahaya is also a fruit with healing properties. Eating this fruit regularly is recommended for people with diabetes or other diseases of the endocrine system. Pitahaya also helps stop pain in the stomach.
The taste of pitahaya is very sweet and aromatic. But red pitahaya is not as sweet as yellow. But this does not apply to the color of the pulp of the fruit. Before you start eating pitahaya, cut off its ends on both sides, and then cut the fruit to the middle, peel and cut into cubes or slices.
Dragon Fruit Appearance
Fans of all that is unusual and exotic should, without any doubt, take this opportunity and take this natural wonder in their hands. This is precisely the case when the absorption process itself gives no less pleasure than taste.
There are three main types of dragonfruit pitahaya. Varieties vary in taste and appearance:
- yellow pitahaya - is the least common, but is considered to be the sweetest variety. Based on the name, the shell is yellow. Instead of scales, tubercles are smoother to the touch. The flesh is dyed white
- pitahaya white is the most popular species. According to connoisseurs, this pitaya variety tastes fresh compared to others, although it is not inferior in terms of saturation. The shell varies between pink and deep red with greenish scales. The inside is light with seeds of a dark color,
- pitaya red - the shell will amaze with its intense bright pink or red color, the flesh is not inferior in color in terms of saturation. This dragonfruit variety has the most piercing and pleasant aroma.
Despite its formidable name, the dragon's eye is a delicate fruit that can easily be damaged if handled carelessly. Note gourmets, it is believed that the most concentrated in sweetness will be the fruits with the brightest color.
The mass of ripe fruit on average ranges between 10 grams and 0.5 kg. But there are also specimens much larger - up to 1 kg.
In 1553 in the book "Chronicle of Peru»Cie de Leon gives the first description of pitaya:
“The largest valleys and slopes of [the province of Armagh] are like gardens, respectively, they are populated and full of all kinds of fruit trees, one of which is very tasty, called Pitaayapurple color. This fruit has such a feature that after eating it, even if only one, you want to urinate, emitting urine of a bloody color ”
Hylocereus adapted to life in a dry tropical climate with moderate rainfall.
Fruits are tied 30-50 days after flowering, sometimes up to 5-6 harvest cycles are observed per year. Some farms in Vietnam produce up to 30 tons per hectare annually.
Dragon Fruit Season in Thailand
Over the past ten to twenty years, our compatriots have fallen in love with paradise Thailand with passionate love. Maybe some of you brought exotic pitahaya fruit as an edible souvenir.
For 12 months, the heat-loving cactus brings up to 5-6 crops. After the flower withers, an edible fruit itself is formed within 35-55 days. An important condition is the absence of moisture, which threatens to rot the flower or fruit.
Dragon fruit beneficial properties
Based on the chemical structure, it is clear that pitahaya has a colossal benefit for the whole organism.
Dragon Heart will bring great benefits to the stomach, normalizing the digestive system and eliminating toxins and waste. A significant advantage of the fruit is the presence of a high proportion of fiber, and it contributes to the launch of the cleansing process in vital organs.
It is advisable for people suffering from arthrosis and other chronic diseases to introduce a dragon eye into their personal diets. The anti-inflammatory effect of the plant is known since ancient times. The use of fruit by diabetics is especially welcome, as the chemical composition has a positive effect on blood sugar.
Women love pitahaya for their antioxidants. Antioxidants help maintain youthfulness and beauty of the skin and actively fight free radicals. An effective moisturizing effect is achieved by regular application of special nutritious masks from fruit gruel.
The immunomodulatory property, prophylactic effect against frequent respiratory and catarrhal diseases is explained by the high content of vitamin C in the dragon heart.
During pregnancy, tastes undergo tremendous changes. Future mothers are often drawn to exotic goodies. Pitaya will appeal to many women, and will have a beneficial effect on the future baby.
During breastfeeding, it’s a test for a fragile female body, so that healthy food will never be superfluous, but will only benefit. Of course, this is only possible in the absence of allergies. The introduction of a new fruit in the diet should not be abrupt. A nursing mother should see if this gives a negative reaction to the infant.
In pitahaya, there is equal benefit and harm. Even the most useful product for humans will have a number of contraindications. In everything, especially in nutrition, it is important to listen to a sense of proportion.
Initially, any exotic ingredient should be handled with care. The risk for small foodies up to three years old may be too great - from diathesis on the cheeks to difficult situations with a chair.
Another vulnerable category is people who are prone to a different kind of allergy, especially food in nature. Although the basic part of the composition of overseas delicacies is represented by water, the tasting should begin with one small fruit. If the reaction in the form of tearing, sneezing, skin redness does not occur, then for further tests, the green light is on.
Attention to people with a weak stomach! With an overactive hobby of pitahaya, unpleasant consequences from the gastrointestinal tract in the form of heartburn, flatulence and other intestinal disorders are possible. In a word,
Finally, another little tip. Knowledgeable people recommend holding the dragon fruit in the refrigerator before eating it and eating it cool. In a warm state, the taste of pitahaya is not fully disclosed, as we would like.