01.30.2012

PRICKLY PEAR

cactuspear

 

I’m sure you never thought about eating a cactus but maybe you should consider changing your mind. The Prickly Pear or cactus pear is an egg shaped fruit of the Nopal cactus that has a stiff rind covered in spines. The fruit color ranges from yellow to orange to red.  The prickly pear pulp has a sweet flavor, similar to a watermelon.

Extremely popular in Mexico, Central and South America, the Mediterranean countries and southern Africa, this fruit is just gaining some popularity with some of the larger food chains in the U.S.  Prickly pears are available from California, Chile and Mexico with supplies peaking from September to May. The fruit can be eaten fresh or used in marmalades, jelly, ice and dessert sauces, punches and cocktails or fresh fruit cups and salads. It is high in vitamin C and is a good source of potassium. So don’t judge this fruit by its package and unwrap some sweetness.

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