Ever wondered what the taste of the dragon is?
Is it about the dragon in the Game of Thrones? Or is it about the taste sense of TOOTHLESS the dragon in How to train your dragon?
Well, not even close.
It’s just that it was named due to its appearance. This is about a very exotic fruit called Pitaya better known as
The Dragon Fruit
What exactly is the Dragon Fruit or Pitaya?
Dragon fruit, also known as the strawberry pear or pitaya, is a “Wonderous Fruit” of the 21st Century.
This exotic strange beholding fruit is having bright pink skin and strange green spines which is really unique and tasty! It looks really strange but the skin is very soft. Its green spines won’t prick you while holding it.
This fruit comes in three colors. Two varieties are one that has pink skin, with one being white and the other being red in flesh. The other variety has yellow skin with white flesh.
Origin : The pitaya fruit is said to have originated in central Mexico, a long time ago. When the Europeans journeyed to the New World they got the seeds, they then carried this Pitaya with them to Taiwan. The Early missionaries of Europe brought Pitaya to Asia renaming it which is now commonly called the exotic Dragon Fruit. In 1870, the French presented this dragon fruit to Vietnam.
Vietnam is now one of the top dragon fruit cultivating places in the world.
As its importance spread to other countries, it became a commercially grown fruit and is now knocking at our Door in our country.
Looks Is Deceiving
Hardly anyone would speculate that such a waxy and bright fruit would grow on a stern, palm tree-like cactus. It is a quick-growing vine that needs upright pole sustenance to grow on and then a ring to fall out like an umbrella. Its life is of 15-20 years, so a proper selection of poles and rings is really important.
Taste of the Dragon: The best taste of these fruits come from dragon fruit-producing countries. This exotic fruit is more or less what kiwi would taste if stripped of its sweetness, in short, dragon fruit is mildly tart.
Overly satisfying when chilled, the small black seeds provide a nice crunch to its smooth flesh and these flavors do not change for even the ripest fruit.
Hold the fruit in your hand and try pressing the skin of the fruit with your thumb or fingers. It should provide a little push, but shouldn’t be too soft or mushy. If the fruit is so very firm, it will need to ripen for a few more days.
Once you get to love the taste of the dragon, you will surely think of many ways to have it. Give it a try by mixing it with some of your favorite delicious drinks recipes. Because it pairs well with almost any fruit, mix it in with pineapple, papaya, mango or anything that you like. Add it to a smoothie or even a martini.
Why is the dragon fruit RED?
The flesh color of this exotic fruit varies to white or deep magenta . Like tomatoes , these red-fleshed varieties contain Lycopene – a natural antioxidant. Lycopene is associated with anti-aging and UV skin protection.
Medicinal values: The fruit of the dragon fruit tree is so healthy and is believed to have many medicinal properties. It is having a great demand in niche markets due to its ability to lower blood pressure, heart disease and fight cancer. Each dragon fruit is rich in vitamin C. It boosts the body’s immune system and controls obesity. Its an perfect diet for diabetic patients as it lowers blood sugar levels.
This deliciously delicate flavor is having easy to digest carbohydrates and omega fatty acids in the seeds.
Yields & Economics: Each dragon fruit weighs about 150 to 600 grams. One pole generally yields approx 15 to 25 kg of fruits. (Yield of 60/80kgs per pole have also been reported) These fruits are traded in the market at Rs.300 to 400 per kg, but the over-all farm rate is approx. Rs. 125 to 200 per kg.
Duration : The flowers first form in the plant as small buttons or buds, with one or two flowerings within 12 days. The fruit matures only after 50 days of forming from the flower.
The plant continues to flower and get on new fruits throughout its fruit-bearing time. The plant will tolerate some shade, and may even require it in very warm environments. Nonetheless, it needs at least 6-8 hours of Sun. So sunny location is best for the plant.
Over watering will kill the fruit.So giving it a drip will help. This type of irrigation is better than a sprinkler. Not only does it save water but it makes the plant to grow faster too. The leaves of these plants cover their roots, thus hindering overhead spray from reaching them effectively. Hence a drip line is better than a mister from above.
Cultivation of the Fruit: India being a tropical country has a moderate climate throughout the year . These fruit adapts well to tropical climates.
Karnataka is emerging as the leader in dragon-fruit farming, spread over 1,000 acres in the State. Not only that, this State has developed into a knowledge bank for the farming of this exotic produce. It does not have a market everywhere. Thus market tie-up is a must before investing with dragon-fruit cultivation.
Now dragon fruit is being added on as ingredients in cosmetic products as well as other products too.
Even as an air fresher
Dragon fruit has a knack for getting noted. A lot of folks aren’t even mindful of what the fruit is, but then when they see it, it sure captures their attention . That’s the dragon fruit’s curiosity of attraction.