Guatemalan Fruit: Pitayas

Guatemalan Fruit: Pitaya

Pitahaya season is here!

A Pitaya (pronounced /pɨˈtaɪ.ə/) or pitahaya (English pronunciation: /ˌpɪtəˈhaɪ.ə/) is the fruit of several cactus species, most importantly of the genus Hylocereus (sweet pitayas). These fruits are commonly known as dragon fruit. The vine-like epiphytic Hylocereus Pitaya producing cacti are native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. Hylocereus has adapted to live in dry tropical climates with a moderate amount of rain. The dragon fruit sets on the cactus-like trees 30–50 days after flowering and can sometimes have 5-6 cycles of harvests per year… continue reading at Wikipedia.

You can buy pitayas in your nearest mercado or supermarket right now. There’s an upcoming article in REVUE magazine about the pitayas with a recipe for Ginger Dragon Delight which has rum and pitahayas as the main ingredients. You can find the article on page 66 of the July 2011 issue of REVUE magazine.

Have you ever had pitayas?

Today’s entry is a follow up on the comment left by Lynn on June 1:

Accidentally stumbled on your site somehow, and it made me nostalgic for all things Antigua and Guatemalan. Was there exactly 10 years ago for a couple of weeks, and spent every day in amazement. I remembered a fruit someone shared on a boat to Santiago Atitlan, the most sublime stuff of paradise, it had bright fuschia-colored flesh, and I looked for it everywhere for years, but never really knew what it was and have never found out since. Would you have a clue? These pix make me long to take a return trip. Soon.

© 2011 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Pinaristek

    Pitayas are my favorite. They are so good!

    • Pinar, can you find pitayas in Costa Rica? I read they have a red skin red meat pitaya there.

  • Shaymarliny

    Love the green back, it makes the fruit look so pretty.

    • Shaymarliny, what do you mean green, it’s more like brownish color. It’s «papel craft» in the background.

      • Shaymarliny

        Sorry Rudy but in my computer it has a HINT of green, it does not look ALL brown. I love the pick though.

  • Eric

    I have tried pitayas.  I have a friend who is a bartender in a village near Lake Atitlan, and he makes the most incredible pitaya margaritas…or were they daquiris…I don’t remember, but they sure were delicious!  Also good with granola and yogurt, on the morning after.  ;D