This dragon fruit is also known as Pitaya...a delicious fruit that grows on a vine-like cactus. There are two types - the sour and the sweet Pitaya. The type that we commonly seen in Costa Rica are the sweet dragon fruits. There are 3 different types of sweet Pitayas, they all have a leathery, slightly leavy skin:
• Pitaya blanca or White-fleshed Pitaya has red-skinned fruit with white flesh.
• Pitaya roja or Red-fleshed Pitaya, has red-skinned fruit with red flesh.
• Yellow Pitaya, has yellow-skinned fruit with white flesh.
In the garden of Sueno del Mar we have the Pitaya roja growing. At the ends of the cactus are small flower buds that will grow into a dazzling white flower that only blooms for one night. After it blooms, the flower will dry up and the fruit will grow in the same place.
You can eat the Pitaya by cutting it in halves and spooning out the flesh. You can eat the small black seeds like those from a kiwi. They are also great in any type of smoothie. The Pitaya has a very mild sweet taste. The vibrant red color will easily stain your clothes so be careful!
It is added to the list of Super Foods as it is a significant source of antioxidants, vitamin A & C and calcium. The edible seeds contain heart healthy monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids. Ask in the supermarket if they have Pitaya and give this amazing fruit a try or maybe we will serve it next time you visit us for breakfast at our quaint location in Playa Langosta!