Friday, June 12, 2009

Pitaya season

It's now pitaya season. The cactus-type fruit enjoys a six-week harvest during May and June. Most that you'll find in this area are grown in the Jalisco highlands near Guadalajara, and sold in local markets and on the streets.

Pitaya is similar to tunas, but a little smaller and you don´t have to deal with tuna´s huge seeds, pitaya´s seeds are like dragonfruit´s seeds (pitahaya). It is very watery, fist-sized, and drips juice as deep and staining as wine - but only slightly sweet.

An important point to note: Pitaya is different from Pitahaya – a columnar cactus with similarlooking fruits native to northern Mexico. Over the last 200 years, writers in the U.S. and Europe have confused the two names to the point of absurdity. In central Mexico, youwill find the two fruits being sold in different bins, with the less desirable Pitahaya at a cheaper price. In the U.S., you will find Pitaya sold under both names!

Pitaya in the market

Pitaya cactus

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Guamúchil, huamúchil, cuamúchil, Manila Tamarind, Pithecellobium dulce

We went up to Tenacatita yesterday and decided to check out Agua Caliente on the way. Agua Caliente is just a little north of the Tenacatita road on the river and thru town used to be the main road to the beach. Elke and John had not been there but Marcos and I had. Elke and John had also never tried Guamuchil and there was a large reclining tree next to the river just full of the fruit. Guamuchil is not something most people would go out of their way for but they are popular in road side stands and can be used for agua fresca (almost any fruit drink)

I was lucky to get the spelling right for a Google search ... and then looking further found all these others. They are possibly part of the Tamarind family and you don't eat the black seed. These looked totally ripe but were a bit drier than I've had before.

After - we drove thru town and out to Tenacatita and I think we spotted Bill's place on the far end across from the river.

Often planted for living fence or thorny hedge, eventually nearly impenetrable, guamachil furnishes food, forage, and firewood, while fixing a little nitrogen. The pods, harvested in Mexico, Cuba, and Thailand, and customarily sold on roadside stands, contain a thick sweetish, but also acidic pulp, eaten raw or made into a drink similar to lemonade. Pods are devoured by livestock of all kinds; the leaves are browsed by horses, cattle, goats, and sheep; and hedge clippings are often gathered for animal feed.

The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

Sparks Mexico Web
Manzanillo Information
House building in Pinal Villa

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