The history of the Dragon Fruit is disputed by many and it is difficult to find out where this great fruit came from.
Below, I shall provide you as much information about the origin of the fruit.
Like this, you’ll know as much as I do and you’ll be well armed to find out more information.
But I’ll also give you a nice recipe at the end of the post.
Scroll down if you want to know more.
History of the dragon fruit
You know, Dragon fruit sounds really exotic for a fruit’s name.
Well, that’s because the fruit is exotic in all its form.
And the overall consensus is that history origin of dragon fruit starts with origins from Southeast Asia.
And if you do not know much about the fruit, you’ll probably be amazed to learn that it actually comes from a cactus tree.
This makes sense when you look at the spiky outer layer of the fruit.
A Dragon fruit tree is a plant that somehow looks like a vine climbing in the wild.
Where to plant and how to grow dragon fruits?
The best locations for growing it are dry areas.
The dragon fruit is from the epiphyte family. The fruit loves to grow in good organic soil.
When the cactus grows, it produces flowers which are fairly large for a cactus flower and white in color.
These produce a nice, sweet fragrance when in full bloom.
The issue is that you’ll most certainly miss out on the fragrance because flowers only bloom for one single night in their short lifetime.
So, you better be there waiting for it to bloom so you can enjoy the smell.
They are pollinated by the most unusual bird. These are bats.
The good news is that the trees have up to six fruit-producing cycles on an annual basis.
A bit about the dragon fruit
Dragon fruits are intimidating at first, with their colors and shape.
And the question I get all the time is how to peel a dragon fruit.
It is so easy to peel with your hands or with a knife that you do not need a manual for this.
Just go ahead and cut it in half. then peel the skin and enjoy it.
Most of the time, the fruit comes in an oval shape.
But there are times where you’ll find it in elliptical or pear-shaped form.
The fruit can be either sweet or at a time have a sour taste.
You have two main colors that are associated with the fruit. In essence, you have the white dragon fruits and the reddish ones.
You also have little seeds inside that look a lot like sesame seeds.
The seeds have a little crunch to them, a bit similar to the seeds found in a kiwi.
More history of dragon fruit in Americas – Origins of these cactus fruits?
There are many plantations for the dragon fruit since the days it was found in Southeast Asia.
For instance, you now can buy the fruits from South Florida, the Caribbean, Taiwan, Hawaii, and Malaysia.
However, you’ll find that people in America telling you that the fruit is native to Central America.
Over there, people call it Pitahaya in Mexico.
You’ll find others that will call it Pitaya roja in Central America as well as in northern South America.
And you’ll understand why they call it that way. The word Pitahaya is the Spanish name given to fruiting vines of Central America.
What is believed is that the fruit was introduced about a century ago by the French who brought it to Vietnam.
To date, the evidence available to us describes that the fruit dates back to the 13th century. And you can find this in the Aztec literature.
Now, it is also believed that is has been moved around as far as Nicaragua and Colombia.
And then, you’ll get others who’ll be saying that it came from Guyana.
In reality, everyone wants to take ownership of the fruit’s origin for some reason (maybe financial more than anything else).
Note that the cactus tree produces very large flowers. And these bloom at night.
So this particularity has led to the nickname “moonflower”.
But it is also called “lady of the night.”
The fruit has a genus name and it is known as Hylocereus.
This name comes from the word cereus. And Cereus comes from the Latin word cera. (1)
This word means “wax” or “torch-like.”
The history of the dragon fruit and the Vietnamese link
Vietnamese were quick to realize just how good and tasty the fruit is.
They strongly encouraged its cultivation at a large scale.
The plant and fruit are considered indigenous.
And Vietnamese prefer the white flesh variety, called Hylocereus undatus. (2)
They also call it the blue dragon or thanh long.
The fruit is currently being grown for commercial reasons with a good income from exportation.
The recent history of dragon fruit
As it is a fruit that is in high demand, it was not long before other countries join the club in growing these.
In 1999, the fruit was introduced in the Sitiawan, Johor and Kuala Pilah regions.
Both Colombia and Nicaragua now grows it for commercial use.
This clearly shows that dragon fruit likes to grow in warm climates.
The fruits are now exported globally and Southeast Asia nations have a high demand for it.
Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, and Hawaii are high importers of it as they do not produce much of the fruit.
And it fairly recent years, it has become very popular served in juices, used medicinally, and simply eaten fresh or dried.
What is good is that there are no known risks of dragon fruit. But if you feel some side effects, it is always best to stop eating it and speak to a professional.
A Dragon fruit Recipe
You can find fresh or dried Dragon fruits at many Asian type grocery stores. The idea is to buy organic, if at all possible.
Here is a nice dragon fruit recipe. You’ll love it I can ensure you.
The Dragon fruit and coconut smoothie
Let’s start with the ingredients.
- 1 dragon fruit (only take the flesh)
- Find 1 small to medium size banana (the smaller the better as they are sweeter)
- About ½ cup blueberries (if you do not have it, that is fine)
- 1 teaspoon unrefined coconut oil
- About 1 single teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds
- Large handful of pumpkin seeds (dried ones)
- 1 scoop vanilla bone broth
- 1.75 cups of water
How to proceed?
- Take your blender and pour the dragon fruit, banana, blueberries, and water. Blend well.
- Now add the coconut oil, the chia seeds, the vanilla bone broth, and flaxseeds. Again, blend again until the mixture is smooth.
- A little secret for you. Just add a couple of cubes of ice if you prefer it chilled.
- You can even try to add frozen bananas for a much thicker smoothie.
- Top the smoothie with pumpkin seeds and serve (or may be just drink it first).
Conclusion on Dragon Fruit
If you think that Dragon fruit sounds a bit weird as a name for a fruit, you may be right.
However, you cannot disagree with the fact that its colors are just wonderful. Outside, it is pinkish and inside it has this wonderful white or reddish color.
Dragon fruits can make a superb addition to your smoothies, salsa or even salads.
I personally like eating them on their own.
What you need to remember is that Dragon fruits have strong health benefits.
Thes include boosting the immune system, treating and preventing diabetes, aiding digestion, improving heart health, anti-aging, and even potential cancer prevention. You can find information about these backed by science by clicking here.
Remember, this is a low-fat, low-calorie superfood.
Try to add to your diet to rip our all of the benefits.
Back to you
The history of the Dragon fruit is a little bit difficult to summarise in a couple of lines, but here you’ll find enough information about this fantastic fruit.
I have given you some of the dragon fruit’s benefits and I am sure we will be seeing you again soon.
Speak soon on Omigy.