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.
How to choose a ripe pitahaya
This fruit grows well in Southeast Asia, from where it is brought. Dragon fruit, dragon eye, pitahaya - as soon as these interesting fruits, which are the fruits of a lianoid cactus, are not called. This fruit is like an elongated apple of pink or yellow color, covered with scales. He looked as if someone had started peeling off his skin and threw it away, not finishing it to the end. Pitahaya weight can reach 600 g.
Dragon eye, brought from warm countries, does not have a bright taste. Distantly, it resembles the taste of kiwi and banana. When choosing a tropical exotic, you should avoid fruits with a damaged skin: it should be a saturated color. Soft fruits are more fragrant, this property indicates maturity.
How to distinguish between red and white pitahaya
There are different types of this fruit. Speaking of the color of pitahaya, they mean the color of its pulp: it can be crimson or snow-white. In this case, the skin color in both cases remains pink.
The exception is the yellow dragon's eye. It has a yellow peel and light flesh.
In addition to different colors, the fruit pulp has a peculiarity - dark seeds, due to which the inside of the fruit is as if covered with poppy seeds.
How to clean and eat fruit
There are several ways to get rid of the inedible top layer of the dragon's eye, depending on further use. The fruit can be cleaned:
- like a banana, starting from the top, leaving a dense pulp in the hand,
- like an orange, slices,
- like a kiwi, slicing in half to eat with a spoon,
- like a popsicle, peeling off as the flesh is eaten.
If it is necessary to use fruit in a salad, it must be cut in half and cut the flesh, leaving the peel in the form of a boat. The edible part should be cut into cubes and put in boats with other fruits.
Useful properties of the dragon's eye and its dangerous sides
Exotic fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is used for joint diseases. An abundance of fiber helps cleanse the intestines. This fruit is recommended for diabetes, as it affects blood sugar. However, it must be carefully tried for the first time: it can cause an allergic reaction.
Tropical pitahaya will decorate any fruit salad, it is easy to free from the skin, it has a pleasant and not too bright taste. This tender fruit is difficult to transport, so it is better to try it in warm countries.
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.
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.