Ever Tried Dragon Fruit or Tree Tomatoes?

Neither had I, until this weekend.

Our local mercado — Mercado Medellin — specializes in tropical and South American fruits.

So, whenever we go, I like to purchase a couple of previously unknown-to-me fruits, and I try to talk to the vendors about the fruits (as in, what to do with them, what they taste like, etc.)

And with that, I bring you this past weekend’s purchases: dragon fruit and tree tomatoes. Or, as we call them in Mexico: pitayas and tomates de arbol.

Pitayas are originally from Mexico but now grown in Asia, too. Their outer skin is hot pink.

Pitayas aka "dragon fruit" are originally from Mexico but are now grown in Asia, too. Their outer skin is hot pink.

This is simply a gratuitous shot of my adorable dog admiring the pitaya.

This is simply a gratuitous shot of my adorable dog admiring the pitaya.

This variety of pitaya has a white flesh. Some varities have a red flesh. It tastes vaguely like watermelon, and is quite tasty with some lime juice squeezed on top.

This variety of pitaya has a white flesh with tiny edible seeds. Some varieties have a red flesh. It tastes vaguely like watermelon, but is softer and juicier. I loved it with some lime juice squeezed on top.

Tree tomatos, or tomates de arbol, hail from Colombia. They look, feel and taste somewhat like a tomato.

Tree tomatos, or tomates de arbol, hail from Colombia. They look, feel and taste somewhat like a tomato. And they also smell a lot like guavas.

I wasn't crazy about the flavor of tree tomatoes, but I do think their innards look cool, sort of like the human circulatory system.

I wasn't crazy about the flavor of tree tomatoes, but I do think their innards look cool, sort of like the human circulatory system or a lung.

13 thoughts on “Ever Tried Dragon Fruit or Tree Tomatoes?

  1. YayaOrchid says:

    I’ve heard and seen pitayas, but never had seen or heard of a tree tomato. Thank you so much for sharing. I love learning about the foods and produce of Mexico. Another thing that is of great interest to me are the great variety of chiles, both fresh and dried, available in the markets of Mexico, or so I’ve been shown on food shows on tv. I think spices would also be of great interest to see pictures of.

  2. Betty Victory says says:

    OMG–Charlie, so cute!!!!!! Hug time………… I miss my grand dog. Pitayas sound good, not so sure about the tree tomatoes. What is usually done with the t. tomatoes??? Do they make it into sauce???

  3. Joy says:

    The tree tomatoes can be eaten normally, but you don’t eat the peel…or you can make juice out of them, which is what the vendor recommended to me. You must poach them to remove the peel first…then blend with water and ice — the typical way to make aguas frescas.

  4. gloria says:

    I found your site on YaYa’s blog and decided to come read it and I really enjoyed reading this post. These fruits are very interesting. The innards of the tree tomato remind me of a Frida Khalo painting. Nice blog, I’ll be back.

  5. BV says:

    YayaOrchid (love your name), I guess you and I were thinking the same thing. Some adventurous day I will purchase one.

    Just loved the Kahlo painting. I don’t think I had ever seen that one.

  6. megc says:

    Thanks for the info on dragon fruit/pitaya. I am sure I can find it here in Chinatown, so I just might! I remember seeing tomates de arbol in the produce section in CA – they look kind of gross inside, I must admit. Nice to know they make a good agua fresca.

  7. Henry says:

    ever tried the red variety of dragon fruit? the white variety tastes bland while the red is soooo sweet and you wouldn’t want to taste the white ones again. believe me.

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