The pitaia, which is known in English as pitaya or dragon fruit, is commonly associated with Southeast Asia, where is it extensively cultivated in Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia. This cactus, however, is native to Mexico, and is grown extensively in Brazil, particularly in the state of São Paulo.
Because the fruit is heavy and fragile, cultivation is a demanding task, requiring skill and art. But since the pitaia commands a high price in the marketplace, in Brazil and elsewhere, cultivation is increasing rapidly in Brazil.
The fruit itself, in addition to being refreshingly delicious, is extremely photogenic - colorful and varied in size, texture and shape. Here are some photos of this beauty, from the Brazilian agricultural site, Globo Rural.
Pitaia plantation in Pinheral, São Paulo. Cultivation is delicate work and demands attention.
The yellow pitaia is the most commercialized variety in Brazil, with a high level of sugars, around 20 brix.
The purple pitaia, with a brix level of 12, attracts with the brilliant color of its pulp.
The white pitaia has a brix level of 10 and is well-suited to the production of sweets.