The pitaya fruit was an important food source for Native Americans in Baja and southern California. In fact, remaining members of the Seri tribe still harvest the fruit.
The Tohono O’odham and Pima people collected pitaya fruits from the tops of the organ pipe cactus. They ate this fruit in a few different ways. The seeds and purple flesh were mashed together to form a sweet paste. This paste could be eaten raw or dried out to form a spreadable jelly.
The seeds were often parched in the dry, desert sunlight. These parched seeds were then stored for long-term use in jars or baskets. Months later, the seeds could be ground into meal for seed cakes.
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