“You have got to see this,” Andy calls me away from fondling a couple of avocados.
“What the Sam Hill?” I’ve never seen anything like it. Surely it’s not of this world. It’s the sort of bizarrely beautiful creation that you’d imagine the Na’vi in Avatar would eat.
The sign tells me it is called a pitahaya…that means nothing. But one thing’s for sure, we have to buy one.
Pitahaya, pitaya or, more commonly, the dragon fruit is a type of cactus that is seemingly very popular in Asia. It’s certainly not common to the supermarkets of Tenerife; at least neither Andy nor I had seen one before and, let’s face it, it’s not the sort of fruit you would fail to notice.
We haven’t tried it yet, it is so surreal and wonderful looking that it seems a crime to butcher it, but apparently it tastes like a cross between a melon and a kiwi fruit. To eat it you slice it in half and scoop out the flesh…or make it into a smoothie…or blend it and serve it with chocolate ice cream. I say chocolate because that was one of the pictures we saw when researching what the hell it was. The contrast between the choccie and the shocking pink dragon fruit looked seductively good.
Although a big hit in Asia, the dragon fruit is actually native to Central America and is a bit of a wonder fruit in medicinal terms. Amongst other benefits, it is good for the eyes and teeth, lowers cholesterol, acts as a boost for the immune system, helps cuts heal quicker, moisturises the skin and helps digestion. The only down side as far as I can see is that if you eat too much of it, it can turn your urine an odd colour. Harmless, so they say, but unnerving nonetheless.
At the moment the alien fruit lies like an exotic intruder in the fruit bowl making the mango, bananas and even the tropical paraguayo look very dull by comparison. We haven’t decided how we’re going to devour it yet, but when we do I’ll let you know if the fruit of the Na’avi tastes as good as it looks.