Dragon Fruit Adventure at Barrio Chino!
Located in Belgrano and beginning alongside the train tracks at Juramento and Arribenos, Buenos Aires’ Barrio Chino (Chinatown) is tiny compared to those of San Francisco, London or Sydney. However, in spite of its size its impact on the culture of Buenos Aires is significant with its 100+ Asian-owned shops which receive over 15,000 visitors every weekend. Conveniently located in Belgrano, Barrio Chino has great grocery stores offering locals, expats and visitors the very best seafood in town, a wide variety of spices and herbs and great imports.
Of interest today is Good Morning BA’s purchase of some Dragon Fruit or Pitaya. [It is also known in China as huǒ lóng guǒ 火龍果/火龙果 “fire dragon fruit” , in Indonesia as buah naga “dragon fruit”. and in Vietnam as thanh long (green dragon).]
Dragon Fruit is the fruit of several cactus species, most importantly of the genus Hylocereus (sweet pitayas). It comes in 3 varieties with our purchase today being the Hylocereus undatus (red pitaya) which has red skin with milky white flesh. Wikipedia tells us that this is the most commonly-seen variety of “dragon fruit”. Dragon Fruit is native to Central and South America and according to Aztec literature dates back to the 13th century.
When purchasing Dragon Fruit be sure to look for bright even colored skin as blotches are typical of one that is too ripe. Holding one in your hand, you can give it a gentle squeeze and a perfect one should give a bit, very much like a kiwi fruit.
Dragon fruit is rich in a variety of nutrients including calcium, fiber, phosphorus, Vitamin C and is chocked full of antioxidants. Its taste is sweet, very similar to a cross between a pear and a kiwi. To eat a Dragon Fruit you simply cut it in half, lengthwise and eat the milky white center with a spoon. For those of you who are wondering from the photos, YES – the seeds are both edible and delicious!
With its variety of vital nutrients, the Pitaya fruit is suitable for all diets as it supplements fiber which is great for the liver. Similarly, people with high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity have attested to the fruit’s goodness. Recent findings show that if an obese person eats Dragon Fruit on a regular basis, it naturally reduces the weight considerably, creating a well balanced body without compromising on the individual’s health.
Without further ado, I give you the Dragon Fruit!
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