Pitahaya aka pitaya – Many of us think that it comes from Asia
We know that this fruit is very interesting, maybe because it is linked to various myths and inaccurate tales. But to think that Pitahaya comes from Asia is simply not true. The way pitahaya came to our tables is somewhat more complicated.
Pitaya is very fashionable and the fruits are produced by the Hylocereus undatus cactus but because it is rather difficult to ship it, you will rarely see it in your store – that is, if you want the highest possible quality and not just battered leftovers.
Tasty treat from the Americas
You will probably not be surprised that the homeland of the Hylocereus undatus is Mexico, and Central and South America. This interesting plant was imported to Asia by French colonizers. It appeared in Asia already during the first century, after the new inhabitants of America learned how to use the gifts provided by the Sonoran desert, including pitaya, which provided them with liquids, especially in the most arid regions.
In Vietnam for example, pitaya quickly caught on and it was known as the dragon fruit. A name we also use. At first, pitaya was seen as an exotic thing available only to the king, but the undemanding nature of this cactus able to live on almost no water, soon made pitaya a very affordable and healthy delicacy.
You can grow pitaya from seeds, but …
Just take a ripe fruit remove the seeds (no pulp on seeds) and sow them in a mini-greenhouse and you should see little plants soon. However, it is more of a cute experiment and not really serious gardening because it is very difficult to keep adult plants in good and healthy condition elsewhere than in a greenhouse and most likely you will not be able to grow fruits in our climate anyway. So if you want to try it, expect rather interesting and spiky decoration and not fruit bearing plants. Anyway, experimenting can be very interesting so give it a try.
Preview photo: Pixabay
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