Brazilian Challenge Day 54: Pitaya

So my Brazilian accomplishment of the day is that I ate a pitaya fruit for dessert.

Eating fruit for dessert on its own is a Brazilian thing, from where I’m from. If I told my daughter that I was about to give her dessert, then put some fruit on her plate, she would fall off her chair. And then she would cry.

For Sophia, fruit is what she forces herself to eat because her pediatrician, who wields as much power over her as Santa Claus, told her she must to grow up big and strong. Now, this doesn’t say much about my mothering skills. But to be fair to myself, her dessert is usually a couple small pieces of chocolate, and she’s happy as can be.

This particular fruit actually comes from a cactus. I saw the crazy-looking pieces when I went to the feira (street market) today and decided to stop to inquire. The vendor sliced me a sample. I  asked him if the fruit was actually grown in Brazil. He avoided my direct question and said it came from the Amazon (which could mean any number of countries). (After a bit of research later on, I discovered that the fruit is grown in a number of South American and Asian countries.)

Now, Brazil has got some UGLY fruit. So far, based on my small sample, it seems that the uglier the fruit is, the sweeter it is. This holds true for the pitaya. Well, that is, the pitaya samples the vendor had me try were very sweet. I bought one with a white interior and two with pink interiors. But when I got the fruit home, it wasn’t particularly sweet. Good, mild flavor, but not really sweet. And the pitaya was plenty ripe – ripe enough to have a little fuzz on one of the fruit. Not sure how he pulled that one off. Bastard.

Also, like many foreigners that try to navigate the intricacies of the feira, I’m pretty sure I got screwed on the price. This master salesperson avoided my question about how much the pitaya was going to cost until it was already bagged and he had sold me on some strawberries as well. When he gave me the total, and I balked and told him I would just like to purchase one pitaya please. To appease me, he threw in a tray of some other fruit as a “presente.” Which just led me to believe I was getting really screwed. But, I finally gave in and chalked it up to experience.

As they say, when in Brazil… beware the local street vendors.

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16 Responses to Brazilian Challenge Day 54: Pitaya

  1. Stephanie says:

    I really LOVED this post. 🙂 Is that what we call dragon fruit? Ive always wanted to taste it, but I have never seen it around here!

  2. Your sugar content to appearance hypothesis really downgrades “sweetie” as a term of affection.
    Btw that vendor seems to be quiet a sweet character.
    Portuguese feira phrase for the day – to be used on custumers with produce exiting a stand, which you plan on entering: “Perdão, quanto você pagou por isso, por favor”, then point at produce (Alex often does a cartwheel before and after the question; I do not recommend this as it seems to frighten people and attract the homeless).

  3. Andrew Francis says:

    I hate to admit it but you probably did overpay.

    As for the Amazon comment, I don’t think the average street vendor realizes (cares?) that the Amazon extends to other countries. He probably meant that part in honesty, as if to say, “Yes, it comes from Brazil, from the Amazon region.” Is that a bit like the average American forgetting (not caring) that Mexico is also part of North America? 😉

  4. Is Canada still a protectorate, or has she entered statehood?

  5. scrubgrub says:

    I was watching that show on fox about where they send people back in time to the dinosaur age… and they showed them eating these and other feira friendly fruits, and I just had to laugh.
    That’s the nice thing about raising a kid here, he’s learned to love fruit for dessert 🙂

  6. Pingback: Jabuticaba trees | born again brazilian

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