Dragon Fruit is said to have originated in the tropical and subtropical forests of Mexico and Central and South America. Gradually, the fruit spread to other tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Currently, Dragon Fruit is cultivated in at least 22 countries including Australia, China, Israel, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. According to some accounts, the French took the fruit from Nicaragua and Colombia, while other accounts state that the French brought it with them from Guyana (South America) in 1870 as an ornamental plant. In fact, the French introduced the fruit to Vietnam over a hundred years ago. Today, Vietnam is the world's leading exporter of Dragon Fruit, with revenues from Dragon Fruit making up 55 percent of the country's fruit export turnover. The fruit is popular across Southeast Asia. It is increasingly being cultivated in several countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Israel, northern Australia, southern China, the Philippines and Hawaii.
Legend has it that the Dragon fruit was created ages ago by a fire breathing dragon. Whenever the Dragon breathed fire, it would end with the fruit tailing the fire: hence the name 'DRAGON FRUIT'. In the course of a violent battle, when the dragon breathed fire, and as soon as the fruit emerged, the beast was instantly slain by a large contingent of soldiers. The triumphant soldiers picked up the fruit and proudly presented it to their King as a coveted treasure. The soldiers then celebrated their victory by slaughtering the dragon and devouring its flesh. It was believed that those who feasted on the dragon's flesh would be endowed with the strength and ferocity of the dragon and that they too would be coveted by the king. It is possible that the story graced popular folklore at the time when the pitaya was first introduced to Asia from South America, perhaps in an effort to create an impression that this exotic fruit was their own. Whatever the story, the exciting legend of the Dragon Fruit certainly adds to the marketing narrative of this truly exotic and mysterious fruit.
|CHEMICAL COMPOSITION(100 GRAMS)||WHITE-FLESH DRAGON FRUIT||RED-FLESH DRAGON FRUIT||MANGOSTEEN||MANGO||PINEAPPLE|
|Crude Fibre (g)||0.3||0.7-1.3||5||0.9||0.4|
|Magnesium (mg)||26.6||31.3-38.9||Not detected||8.8||13|
Dragon Fruit contains Highest Vitamin-C content approximately 34% (20.5 milli grams) of daily requirement dose per serving.
The fruit is commonly eaten raw. It's best eaten chilled as a tasty snack. It can also be sliced into small cubes and added to deserts - pastries, ice cream, salads, smoothies and yogurt.