The fruit of the cactus is often not recognized as such, and few have the idea that this prickly cactus could grow these tasty fruits. The cactus fruit from Opuntia cactus is however edible and because of its vitamins is called a super fruit.
But be careful while picking: The cactus fruit, also called prickly pear, Thistle figs, Opuntia figs, Indian figs, prickly pears or Nopal figs, has around many barely visible spines. Quite fine hairs, which break off when touched and get stuck in your hand. This is unpleasant and can be easily avoided. It is best to take the cactus fruit with a thick cloth or use thicker gloves.
What is the taste of these vitamin-packed prickly pears?
Ripe prickly pear (Opuntia ficus indica), have a delicious, soft flesh with small, very hard cores, which can be eaten. Some describe the taste similar to a pear. Once the fruit is no longer green, but either yellow, orange or reddish and feels not quite hard, it is edible. However, there are some here in Spain, which remain green and are edible. The shell must not have holes and cracks open. In the refrigerator, the fruit is 2-3 days durable and does not mature after being picked.
Overripe cactus fruits sometimes can have ants inside.
Preparation of cactus fruit:
Either cut both ends off and carve the fruit along, whereby the shell can be easily removed, or cut the prickly pear easily centrally through and spooning them out. The fruit is offered regularly in Supermarkets for sale and is sometimes found at the weekly markets.
Der Opuntienkaktus kann bis zu 6 Meter hoch werden und einen enormen Umfang mit vielen Kaktusfrüchten bekommen. Hier in Torrevieja und in ganz Südspanien ist dieser Kaktus oft zu finden.