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Oct 13, 2007 05:38 PM

Where to buy pitaya (a.k.a. dragon fruit)

i'm looking for fresh (not dried!) pitaya, also known as dragon fruit. i live in culver city and work at USC, so I'm hoping some central american or asian market in my area sells it...i'd rather not have to drive to the valley for fruit. please let me know if you know a place...thank you!!

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  1. So many of the immigrant communities around LA eat this fruit. If they came from any country whose region is very hot, most likely they ate it there. Malaysians, Vietnamese, Filipinos, many Chinese, Mexicans, Central and South Americans, even some folks from the Middle East grow and eat this fruit.

    I don't know if the local stores sell locally grown or imported pitaya. I do know that fruits like this and mangos are currently being cultivated and grown in the hottest desert areas of So Cal. If the pitaya is coming from So Cal, then there will be a definite season or seasons through the year as this cactus vine will go through flowering cycles that will bear fruit multiple times a year. This will be dependent on the amount of heat and sunlight.

    Try calling around or just stop in any well-stocked ethnic grocery store or even produce markets and vans around these neighborhoods. I was in Westminster a few weeks ago and thought I did see some at a couple of small produce markets. Good luck!

    1. After seeing this fruit on The Desert Speaks (PBS) I've been keeping an eye out around the South Bay. Sad to say, batting zero so far. If it's being grown in California or imported from Mexico it will probably show up in upscale markets - it is rare and will be very expensive.

      1 Reply
      1. re: DiveFan

        If you're in the South Bay, North Orange County is close - try cruising Westminster around Bolsa - minimum you'll find alot of great eats - usually for a fraction of the cost that you'd think you should be paying. But hopefully, you'll find your treasure.

      2. there's a local grower at the venice farmers market on fridays that carries it during the summer.
        as well, in the fall, some gelson's carry pitaya pitahaya huolongguo dragon fruit.

        white fleshed and red fleshed (diff Cereus spp)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jerome

          Great tip - I work and live in the area but can never make it to the Friday farmers market - maybe the OP can though. I think the hours are 0700 or 0800 to 1100.

        2. I know Coleman's carries it on Wed at the SM Farmer's Market (along with sapote & passion fruit) but i'm not sure if they bring it to the Saturday market.

          2 Replies
          1. re: zinFAN

            saw some last sun at the Brentwood FM... alongside the quince and guava

            1. re: AAQjr

              this makes me so happy...i'm headed there tomorrow.

              thanks for the tip!

            1. re: Diana

              Heck, I've seen 'em at Pavilions and Ralphs in the last couple of weeks...