To prepare a pitaya for consumption, the fruit is cut open to expose the flesh. The fruit's texture is sometimes likened 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 fruit is also converted into juice
, or used to flavour other beverages
. The flowers
can be eaten or steeped as tea
The skin is not eaten, and in farm-grown fruit it may be polluted with pesticides
Ingestion of significant amounts of red-fleshed dragon fruit (such as Costa Rican Pitaya) may result in a harmless reddish coloration of the urine (pseudohematuria
) and of the feces.
Several of the Padres who missionized Baja California recorded an unusual form of consumption of pitaya that is also shared in some O'odham stories from southern Arizona. It is called the "second harvest" of pitaya seeds. With the scarcity of fruits in their lands, the pitaya was such a prized fruit that once it was eaten, the natives would wait for their own excrement to dry, then break it apart separating the pitaya seeds. These seeds would be ground into a flour and eaten again, giving the pitaya's "second harvest" its name. Interestingly, the O'odham name for the Milky Way translates as "the second harvest of pitaya."
The mild taste of pitaya flesh is often remarked upon, as it stands in stark contrast to the vibrant exterior. The taste has been described as being "very bland... like a melon or kiwi," with a "mild sweetness."
Pitaya peel contains polyphenols
which are under basic research
for their potential to inhibit cancer
Keywords:antoni uni, cactus, flora, flowers, nature, pitaya, plants, thailand
© Antoni Uni, el primero UniCo de l'Escala 2017