You say Pitaya, I say Pitahaya

The pitaya was a huge conversation starter at the “Decolonize Your Diet” info booth in Oakland this morning. All kinds of folks came to discuss the correct name (Pitaya or Pitahaya) and the species.

Some said the fruits in Mexico look different than the one I had on hand… I bought mine at Berkeley Bowl and they looked exactly like those featured in Kahlo’s painting above. They are referred to as “Dragon Fruit” in English.

Although they are expensive to buy, you can grow them yourself. Check out this great source for cuttings on Ebay. These plants would do better in tropical, hot climates but I have kept my plants alive in Oakland for a few years (still no fruit, though).


Mija Chronicles confirms that some pitayas are very prickly. The prickly ones are the fruits of an organ pipe cactus; while the dragon shaped ones grow on a succulent type plant.  The best way to enjoy pitaya is in a fruit salad or in a agua fresca. Here is the Recipe for agua fresca from Mija Chronicles!