Two to three years ago, most people didn't know what a pitahaya was. But, this exotic fruit is becoming increasingly well-known in Europe. Dutch importer, Explosive Foods, bring this, and other products in from South-East Asia. Thailand, in particular, is an important country of origin for the company. "We source only yellow dragon fruit from South America, mainly from Ecuador and Colombia," says Daniel Penturij, Explosive Foods' owner.
Curry fresh package
"We get most of our Pitahaya from Thailand, both the red and white-fleshed varieties. These don't taste much different. The red one may be a bit sweeter, but you only notice that in the Brix levels, or if you're a true connoisseur. There's currently sufficient South American supply available. But, storms and hurricanes are raging in that region. These are hampering many exotic fruits' harvests and will cause some delays."
The European market demand is now increasing as Christmas nears. "We can meet the demand for our products well. There are only severe shortages of brown coconuts. This is another of our specialties. This has to do with the Ivory Coast's political instability. That is this product's country of origin. That's hampering exports," says Daniel.
Explosive Foods has seen demand increase for other products too. "Here and there, there's a renewed demand for jackfruit. People want to have something unusual for the Festive season. Our showpiece, young Thai coconuts, is in demand again too. We've also put together a special curry package for this year. It includes a recipe and different herbs and vegetables like asparagus tips, baby corn, and turmeric. You have to add a few other products, such as coconut milk. Then you have the ingredients to make something right away."
Pink pitahaya from Thailand and yellow from South America
Daniel expects to have great sales in December. "We sell our products throughout Europe. So the Dutch hospitality sector closure has little impact on our Christmas rush. Approximately 80% of our products reach consumers via supermarkets and specialist shops," he concludes.