Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pitahaya or Dragon Fruit

 Food In Isla Mujeres


Pitaya (English), Pitahaya (Spanish), Wob (Maya),chac wob” (pitahaya roja),  Hylocereus undatus, Cactaceae Family. "Dragon Fruit
     Pitaya vines grow in the tropics worldwide and are native to Mexico. It grows wild across the peninsula, but not in coastal areas. It is cultivated mostly in gardens, and has commercial potential as an agricultural crop. Agricultural production has been very successful, but there have been problems with marketing.
The cactus flowers at night in June and the aromatic colorful fruits are harvested until October.
      They have a meaty skin and a delicate translucent creamy flesh full of small edible seeds, similar to those found in a kiwi. It is eaten raw, is mildly sweet, and naturally low in calories. Its juice is used to make popular drinks  and it is served in fruit salads.. Its juice is used to make tasty ices and popsicles .(nieves and paletas). Fruit drinks that in English are 'ades' (mixtures of juice, water, and usually a sweetener) are called aguas or aguas frescas in Spanish.
There are two other varieties grown in the Yucatan. One is similar in size and taste, but plain yellow in appearance. The wild version is called pitahaya romaine ("xiquín" in Mayan), is more variable in size, and usually is not available commercially. 

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