Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Eating cactus

Heidi at Mighty Foods is talking about eating prickly pear.

I've always heard that the tunas--the red fruits that grow on the pears--are pretty tasty. However, the few times I've attempted to eat 'em, the spines get me. Not the big hard ones, but the little ones that are hair-fine. They break off in your skin and itch like the devil, and they're hard to spot and pull out. There's a link on the above post about how to get rid of the spines. (I don't want to give anything away, but I'll just say that tunas, like meat, are better with some fire).

I have eaten nopales--those are the big flat pads that make up the green part of the plant. We had them shredded raw in a salad. They tasted something like green beans, but they were juicier and a little more acidic. They were OK, but not great.

Now I need to go find a prickly pear plant to harvest. I wonder if I could make prickly pear pie?


Anonymous said...

The Blue Corn Cafe in Santa Fe serves prickly pear iced tea. It's their only iced tea. I like it - it's subtly fruity. What's amazing, though, is that Mr. Iced Tea Purist likes it, too.

Rupe said...

I'm in South Texas, where cactus is pretty much our fruit crop. Yup, they taste pretty good--probably better for jelly than eating straight because of the big toughish seeds. I had the same problem with the stupid little needles, so it took maybe 10 minutes to eat one sans skin, and I still had to pick a couple of those things out of my teeth. BUT I've been told the application of small amounts of fire cures this.

And I'm not drunk Right Now.