Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Strange fruit — la pitaya

I laid awake in bed last night trying to come up with a way to describe the pitaya using words. It's a fruit straight out of Avatar, a thing the size of a peach that only appears once a year for a limited time only. It's trucked through the streets and markets of Guadalajara in wagons, buried in green straw. It's prickly.

Gustavo bought some, put them on a plate on the kitchen counter, and told me not to touch them (because of said prickles). I stayed out of the kitchen all afternoon, shooting sideways glances at the fruit every now and then. I've seen Invasion of the Body Snatchers. You never know.
Once you open the pitaya, which Gustavo did with a kitchen towel instead of his bare hands, you get a ball of densely packed seeds and stringy pulp that tastes like sweetened nothing. Breaking apart the fruit with your hands is not unlike opening a snowball. Some are red, others purple, and some are a pale green.

We made agua de pitaya which was blood red, almost grotesque. It didn't have much of a taste, but was icy and refreshing down to the soul. The pitaya shows up right before the rainy season in June, and I had felt chronically dehydrated since April.


Noah Brimhall said...

I miss the pitaya ever so much. Here is my favorite thing to do, put it in the freezer (peeled or un-peeled). After a couple hours it will be frozen through and can be eaten like and has the texture of sorbet.

Meredith Veto said...

That's a great idea! The texture is already so "snow-like." I'll have to try freezing them next year.

TenekTech said...

I love pitayas! The colors are also beautiful, the same variety of colors as that we call "tunas", the fruit of the nopal ... happy to find your blog, I love Guadalajara!