Food Under Food headed west last week, and found ourselves hiking in Sedona, AZ where prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) was fruiting everywhere!
Knowing that though the fruit looks void of prickers it actually contains thousands of tiny hair-like glochids, which are barbed shots of pure pain, we carefully harvested them using a plastic bag, and washed the glochids off before handling.
|See how the fruit looks fuzzy? Those are barbed glochids! Beware!|
|prickly pear fruit AFTER washing glochids off|
After much trial and error, I found the best way to process them was as follows: hand-peel the skin off the fruit, and then cut the hard top and bottom off, slit it open and scrape out the hard seeds. From here they can be eaten raw or used in recipes.
We were staying in a rented condo, so we simply put them into a blender with a banana, ice and a little water. The result was delicious, especially in the 90+ degree weather!
What an incredible color! And so delicious. It is sweet and tastes a bit like watermelon. Hope you get a chance to enjoy this wild edible delight!