Friday, June 1, 2007

Prickly Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica)

Originally uploaded by z_kevino
The Opuntia is blossoming this week.

At this point in time, I only have the yellow flowering (and white/yellowish flesh) kind of this unique cactus. I am looking for some mature leaves from the red variety, if you have any :-)

My first introduction to this fruit was in Sicily, and I believe the variety I tried to be Opuntia littoralis, coastal prickly pear. If you have problems swallowing seeds, forget this fruit. Also, you must be very careful when harvesting - I use a thick silicon glove, and remove the fruit.
Then make one incision laterally, just to the depth of the skin. Two slices, one at each end, and then peel back the skin - watch for the spines!

1 comment:

M said...

Lovely. But did you know that opuntia ficus indica also cures hangover? Fun thing to know.