Pitahaya /Dragonfruit (Hylocereus undatus)
A pitaya or pitahaya is the fruit of several cactus species. "Pitaya" usually refers to fruit of the genus Stenocereus, while "Pitahaya" or "Dragonfruit" always refers to fruit of the genus Hylocereus.
These fruits are commonly known as "dragon fruit" as in the Chinese huo( lóng guo(, "fire dragon fruit", and lóng zhu- guo(, "dragon pearl fruit". The Vietnamese thanh long meaning "green dragon", the Malay buah naga, the Lao mark mang gohn, and the Thai kaeo mangkon or "dragon crystal". Other vernacular names are strawberry pear or nanettika fruit.
The vine-like epiphytic pitahaya-producing cacti of the genus Hylocereus are native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. Currently, they are also cultivated in East Asian and Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia and more recently Bangladesh. They are also found in Okinawa, Hawaii, Israel, Palestine, northern Australia, southern China and in Cyprus.
The mild taste of pitahaya flesh is often remarked upon, as it stands in stark contrast to the vibrant exterior. The taste has been described as being "very bland... like a melon or kiwi," with a "mild sweetness."
The edible parts of raw pitahaya consist of mostly water and carbohydrates, with some protein and fat content. Pitayas contain slight amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorus, and other nutrients.