Last year, we wrote a post called 8 foods that grow in a surprising way, about the unexpected ways in which some common foods grow and where they originated from. It was quite popular. And it changed my life. No longer can I simply eat a meal… I now question everything on my plate; imagine the ways in which it might grow and where, and then research it thoroughly afterwards… I find I am eating alone a lot these days.
Anyway, I thought I’d do a follow-up, so you can also further regale your friends and family at meal times! Check back here each day this week for a new food!

Dragon fruit

Originates from Mexico

Open dragon fruit
Dragon fruit
Well, let’s face it, it’s not a surprise that this fruit grows in a way that I find unusual, is it?! It looks ever so exciting and tropical, plus it’s called dragon fruit! I kind of imagined this fruit would grow on a tree like an apple would, albeit a more tropical-looking tree. However, it actually grows on a cactus!
Dragon fruit cactuses
The cactus has long, thin, flat, droopy “branches” and the fruit (sometimes called pitaya) grow, dangling , on the ends. It’s quite nice to see; the pink fruit looks nice against the bright green cactus, and it’s also, apparently, quite nice to smell too! The large flowers are white and bloom at night, releasing an incredible fragrance!
Pitahaya flower
It may be a bit of a treat to find a dragon fruit here, but in Central and South America, the fruit is very popular, as it is in Southeast Asia, where it has been cultivated. Not only can the fruit be eaten, but the unopened flower buds can be cooked and eaten as vegetables too!
Photo credits: tippi t, angela n., Nhã Lê Hoàn and Wm Jas

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