Hylocereus spp.

Other names: Dragon Fruit, Pithaya.

Intro: The fruit of a cactus.

History: Originates from Central and South America.

Shape: Oblong.

Weight/size: Typically weighs around 150-600g and is about 150mm long.

Colour: Fruits are brightly coloured and have a pink and green skin, which is unique in appearance. The pulp is white or a vivid red and contains many small black edible seeds, which add an appealing crunch.

Taste: The flesh is sweet and refreshing with a slightly acidic melon-like flavour.

Buying/storage: Best eaten ripe. A pitaya should give a little when gently squeezed. The fruit can be stored in
the refrigerator for up to three days.

Preparing/serving: Best eaten chilled and sprinkled with lemon or lime juice to enhance the flavour. Cut in half lengthways then scoop out flesh. May be cut to suit needs. Highly decorative on a fruit platter or as a garnish.

The shell of the fruit can be used as an unusual serving dish.

Variety: Yellow with white flesh, red with white flesh or red fleshed.

Nutrition: Rich in Vitamin C and dietary fibre.