I’ve learned about this exotic fruit three years ago when one of our writers was assigned to write about the promising industry of dragonfruit. One of our partner agencies used to bring boxes of dragonfruit in the office for us to taste but I just ignored them. I got intimidated by this strange-looking fruit. It's large and err...too pink!?
Dragonfruit is currently the leading fruit export of Vietnam. When I visited Ho Chi Minh City late last year, one of the villages that we visited in Cai Bai also served us slices of dragonfruit along with other exotic fruits. Foreigners were amazed by the dragonfruit as it was their first time to see it.
Some weeks ago, we visited an experimental station in Manambulan, Davao City and I encountered these amazing fruits again. This time, I saw a whole production of them. I had a nice chat with the fella who was assigned in the production area and he made me realized how interesting this fruit really is. He explained to me the story of he got into the production--from acquiring the planting materials to its marketing aspect.
Dragonfruits are distinct in their vibrant color and size.
Dragonfruit is an amazing fruit. It picks great interest for the inquisitive-type especially with its vibrant color, size and unusual appearance. This fruit is also known as “Strawberry Pear” but locally it’s known as “Pitaya” or "Pithaya".
It comes from the family of cactus.
Dragonfruit comes from the Cactaceae family. It has various varieties but the most common is the Hylocereus undatus with its bright pink skin and large scales in the outside and white flesh and dark seeds inside. The flesh differs in color i.e. red, magenta depending on the variety.
We sampled a freshly picked dragonfruit.
It tastes like kiwi with all the seeds which are pretty much chewable and crunchy. The variety that Manambulan Station is growing is sweet and delicious. After a few slices, I found myself craving for more. I ate two. The fruit is better serve when chilled.
The Hylocereus undatus variety has white, soft flesh and numerous black seeds.Dragonfruits are native to Central and Southern America but are now being widely cultivated in Southeast Asia including the Philippines, particularly in Cavite and Southern Mindanao. This fruit is packed with fiber, Vitamic C, and minerals. It has antioxidant properties too.