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The Pitaya is more commonly referred to as the dragon fruit. It is an extremely beautiful fruit that has dazzling flowers and an intense shape and color. The dragon fruit is usually a dark red color, although some types of this fruit are pink or yellow. The skin of the dragon fruit is a thin rind. The skin is usually covered in scales, and the center of the fruit is made up of a red or white, sweet tasting pulp.
It not known exactly where the dragon fruit originated, but it is thought to have come from South America. The French are believed to have brought the dragon fruit to Vietnam over a hundred years ago. Dragon fruits were grown there to be eaten by royalty and very wealthy families. Now, the fruit flourishes in American states such as Texas, and is also grown in Mexico and other South American countries such as Argentina and Peru.
The dragon fruit is cultivated in tropical regions around the world. The plant of the dragon fruit can grow from around a few inches or centimeters to up to twenty feet (around six meters). It flourishes in hot regions with a heavy rainfall. Periods of cold will kill the plant, and it loves the high temperatures found in tropical countries.
The flowers of the dragon fruit plant only bloom at night and usually only live for one night. Pollination happens at this time to allow the fruit to emerge. The flowers of the dragon fruit give out a very beautiful scent, and the smell can fill the night air wherever the plant grows.
The dragon fruit is best eaten by cutting the fruit in half and scooping the flesh out. The flavor is very refreshing and sweet. Dragon fruits are delicious chilled and can be served in fruit juices and fruit salads or made into jam. They can also be juiced and added to alcohol to make a very delicious drink.