Not everyone gets the opportunity to enjoy cactus fruit or prickly pear fruit in their lives. However, those that do wish to eat it in the safest way possible!
It would be best if you were careful before consuming any fruit produced by the desert plant.
To eat a cactus fruit or prickly pear, first, you need to choose a red or purple ripe prickly pear. Proceed to get rid of all spines on the surface and cutting it open with a knife. Then peel off the skin, take the fruit’s flesh out. Eat it as it is, or use it in a cool recipe.
Cactus fruit is like a lobster; it is ferocious on the outside but rich and fleshy on the inside!
Prickly Pear cactus fruit is named so because it is a pear-shaped fruit. It grows on the edges of the cactus pads (also called nopales). The color of the prickly pear ranges between yellow and green or red and purple. In general, the color indicates the ripeness of the fruit.
The fruit boasts a thick skin tucked with many thorn-like spines. Be careful with the plant as its spines have the potential of hurting you when you least suspect it.
Here is some basic information about it:
|Common Names||Prickly pear, cactus fruit, Cactus pear, tuna|
|Colors||Red, orange, yellow, green|
Prickly pear is a pear-shaped fruit that has thorns on its surface. Since these thorns are prickly and the fruit resembles a pear, it gets the name Prickly Pear!
Generally, all fruits produced by a cactus are edible. Some can be bitter, while others are sweet. Though the taste of these various fruits can differ, they are safe to eat.
The Prickly Pear fruit’s flesh has a meaty texture with edible crunchy seeds embedded within it. The fruit and its nopales are entirely edible.
Cactus fruit tastes like a cross between citrus bubble gum and watermelon. It has an inner texture similar to kiwi, but it tastes like papaya juice when you juice it. It truly has a magical flavor.
Prickly pear has been an integral food in Mexican cuisine for years. No wonder why Mexican food tastes heavenly!
If you eat the Prickly Pear Fruit without taking precautions, you may end up hurting yourself.
The safest way to eat a prickly pear fruit involves
To eat cactus fruit, you need the right equipment. How else will you safely be able to extract the fruit’s flesh and feast on it? Here are a few things that you need to gather:
If you don't have tongs, you can wrap 5 to 6 towels to make a thick base to pick your prickly pear from the plant.
Prickly pear fruit comes displays variation in color. It is interesting to note that the flavor also fluctuates with the color. Darker fruits like the ones that are purple tend to be sweeter. The most common prickly pear fruit color available in the market is dark green and dark purple.
If you’re harvesting prickly pear yourself, use a pair of tongs to separate it from the plant. Protect your hands by wearing thick gloves. Whatever you do, do not touch the fruit barehandedly!
Choosing the right prickly pear is crucial
You might find many prickly pears in the market, but not all of them will taste good. Choose wisely!
The entire surface of cactus fruit is embellished with sharp needle-like thorns. The spots on the skin of prickly pear are called glochids. These hair-like spines can be your worst nightmare. If you consume glochids, they can trigger you and can irritate your skin. So it is important to get remove glochids from the fruit.
Usually, store-bought prickly pears are free from spines and glochids, but it is better to wear gloves while dealing with them just in case.
To remove the glochids yourself, take a blow torch and burn away all the spines.
Get rid of glochids
Never eat a fruit with glochids. Instead attempt to remove it by using either a pair of tweezers, glue or duct tape.
If you happen to see glochids on your store-brought fruit, no need to panic. Just remove the glochids with a pair of tweezers. If that doesn’t seem like an appealing idea, there are a few other things you can do too. Another easy way to do this task is to cover the glochids with Elmer’s Glue-All or white glue and cover it with a gauze. Leave it to dry for 30 minutes and then peel it off. Otherwise use duct tape, as it will also do the same job of extracting glochids
Here comes the final step. Now its time to reap the fruit of your efforts!
If you don’t feel like eating raw prickly pear and want to cook or create something fancy with your fruit, then here are a few amazing recipes you can try out!
Prickly pear juice is an incredible summer drink that you can consume to ward off heat. It is similar to papaya juice in taste.
Who doesn’t love a generous drizzle of syrup on pancakes? Here is a simple recipe to make prickly pear syrup.
Your tasty prickly pear syrup is ready. Feel free to pour it on your deserts and pancakes!
If you don’t want to get into hassle of cooking prickly pear syrup, you can buy it online. I recommend this trusted Prickly Pear Syrup
I also recommend the Max herb organic Nopal cactus juice because it can help you if you are diabetic.
You can also get the Shadow River Gourmet Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly. It’s a perfect treat that the kids will love.
Prickly pear offers tremendous health benefits
Making a cactus fruit edible is as not hard as it seems. Just carefully pick one prickly pear. Remove the spines. Make a cut. Peel off the skin. Take out the flesh. You can either eat it or make so many creative recipes out of it. Make prickly pear a part of your diet. It is highly tasty yet nutritious.
If you are interested in learning more about cacti, I recommend you read our post which speaks about how often cactus flowers bloom:
My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!
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