Dragon fruit, or kaew mangkon in Thai, is easy to spot in local Thai markets due to its beauteous pink colour and a rather eerie outer appearance. Dragon fruit is a pitahaya, which is the fruit of several cactus species in the genus of Hylocereus that are originally native to Mexico.
Hylocereus blooms only at night; the large white aromatic flowers of the typical cactus flower shape are among those called “moonflower” or “queen of the night”. Sweet pitahayas have a creamy pulp and a gentle aroma. It is also grown as an ornamental plant, used in gardens as a flowering vine and a house plant indoors for decoration purposes. The flower is certainly alluring and intriguing to look at.
The fruit’s texture is sometimes likened to that of the kiwi fruit because of its black, crunchy seeds and soft juicy texture. The flesh, which is eaten uncooked, is mildly sweet and low in calories, and eaten together with the seeds, which give a nutty taste but are indigestible unless chewed. Dragon fruit can be used in various ways, other than consuming it; the fruit is also generally converted into juice or wine, or used to flavour other beverages, while the flowers can be eaten or steeped as tea.
Dragon fruit can be either sweet or sour, depending on the species. Not only is it rich in vitamin C, but also a rich source of fatty acids – so replenish your body and feed it the plentiful benefits of this tropical superfood.
You can buy dragon fruit, which mostly comes from central provinces of the Kingdom, from fruit trucks or at local markets across the island.