Acai berries and their frozen pulp counterpart have become one of the most popular superfoods in the country, despite its inscrutable pronunciation. For centuries, the indigenous tribes of the Amazon have consumed the berries for their medicinal properties, and ever since Rio became the summer boom town it is today, tourists have taken a taste of the fruity treat back home. These days Miami Beach seems littered with small juice bars who carry their own distinct version of the snack.
As acai makes the victory lap in the frozen South American superfood wars, a new contender is forging a path. Pitaya, or dragon fruit, is rumored to be the latest health food craze heading to an overpriced juice bar near you. It's said to be full of in antioxidants, high in Vitamin C and fiber, and low in sugar. While the fresh version of the fruit is sold in markets around Miami, the frozen pulp is Nicaraguan-sourced and packaged and sold by California start-up company Pitaya Plus. Health food eatery Under the Mango Tree is among the first to sell pitaya-based creations in its South Beach locale. We went there for a taste.
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Under the Mango Tree is a small operation. Located on Sixth Street, between Meridian and Euclid, this studio apartment turned organic juice bar is filled with delectable goodies. Already known to locals and tourists as the perfect spot for grab a light, cooling snack before a day on the beach, Mango Tree recently started selling their signature Dragon Bowl ($10). Just like the typical Acai bowl, Dragon bowls are made by blending a banana with two packs of frozen raw organic pitaya pulp.
The pitaya is slightly acidic, and will dye your tongue with its distinct pink hue. It makes for an excellent pre-workout energy boost, or a light nash before you shop up a storm on Collins. Added bonus: At least this time you'll be able to pronounce what you're ordering.