Dragon fruit from Vietnam
We continue our tasting journey in this wonderfully exotic country. This fruit has a taste and colour which are impossible to forget. Dragon fruit is the key food item exported by the Vietnamese and it is very much loved by the locals too.
Dragon fruit is also called pittaya or ‘thanh long’. It is one of the most beautiful fruits to grow in Vietnam. Its large fruits are covered by a pink skin. Inside, the fruits can have white or bright red flesh. Its appearance is the main feature of the dragon fruit: it appeals due to its strange form and contrasting colours.
A standard sized dragon fruit can weigh about half a kilogram, with smaller fruits weighing just 200 grams.
What does it taste like?
Dragon fruit flesh is soft and tender. It is good to eat when frozen. Pittaya works well with other fruits in salads, with yogurt and in some pastries.
Many people compare the taste of the pittaya with that of the kiwi fruit, perhaps because of the similarity of texture and the fact that the flesh contains seeds.
Before eating, the dragon fruit is cut into two halves, allowing the flesh to be scooped out with a spoon. The skin is tough and inedible.
Exports from Vietnam
Today Vietnam is the biggest exporter of pittaya. Until a few years ago dragon fruit was virtually unknown and considered exotic in many countries. In 2012 mass exports from Vietnam began: pittaya ‘visited’ about 30 countries all around the world.
For the Vietnamese, it is very important to maintain the high quality of their dragon fruit. That’s why, in the last few years, many specialists from Australia and the USA have visited Binh Thuan province in Vietnam, where a lot of the dragon fruit is grown. These specialists regularly assess the quality of the manufacturing and export procedures before choosing to purchase pittaya from Vietnam.
This means that all dragon fruit from Vietnam is farmed, firstly to ensure that it is safe to eat and secondly to ensure its excellent flavour.
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