Tuesday, June 30, 2009
One of my favorite fruits here in Thailand is the Dragon Fruit (pitiya or strawberry pear). The dragon fruit here in Thailand comes in two varieties, fruits with white flesh and those with deep reddish purple flesh. Of the two, the white flesh fruit, also known as the Red Pitaya, is usually firmer, sweeter, and the less messy of the two. The red flesh fruit, know as the Costa Rican Pitiya, is messy to eat and often sour tasting if not fully ripe, but they are loads of fun as consumption often results in dark pink urine and a dark red to purplish stool. The hundreds of tiny sesame seed sized black seeds are indigestible as well, which only adds to the enjoyment. Based on some of the "floaters" left in our school "facilities", the red flesh dragon fruit is either super popular or our kids have some serious health issues.The dragon fruit is in season right now and I can walk down the soi and get 2 pounds of fruit, roughly 6 fruits, for under two U.S. dollars. I think they are a great snack food because when given the choice between a bag of chips and an ice cold dragon fruit, I will almost always choose the fruit...and believe me, if I'm choosing a fruit over chips anytime in my life, the fruit better be pretty dang awesome!The fruit grows on a thick cactus-like plant. They have sharp pointy spines just like a cactus that love to jump up and bite me anytime I'm withing a few meters of a plant. There are one or two such plants in Pae's family's front yard in Ubon that bear fruit every year. These are pictures of Pae's dragon fruit plants from last year. The flowers are white and when the fruit starts to grow it is green and has lots of little finger like leafy things hangin all out. Those leafy things will eventually turn red with green on the edges and then you can pluck it right off of the plant, wash it, slice it up, and munch away! I know what's for lunch tomorrow already!