When it comes to cactus, you might imagine a plant full of spikes, flowers, and lots of green, but the fruit that it produces scores high in nutrients and adds a unique taste to your recipes.
Yes, we are talking about prickly pears that are native to the Americas.
So what does prickly pear taste like?
Well, these little pink gems are known to confuse many with its taste, and you would want to continue reading this article to find out more about this red fruit and its flavor.
So let’s get started, shall we?
What is Prickly Pear?
Prickly pear is a fruit that comes from the opuntia plant, which is a part of the cacti family.
These red fruits grow on the edges of the plant’s paddles and are very popular in Arizona.
September is the best month if you want to witness this fantastic brightly colored tunas in the valley of the sun.
Prickly pears have allured humans for ages, and ancient Mexicans prepared colonche (a type of cactus wine) with it.
This fermentation process of the juice and pulp of prickly pears is still evident in the present-day Mexican culture.
You may find more interesting facts about prickly pears in this Mercola post.
What Does Prickly Pear Taste Like? Does Prickly Pear Taste Good?
Many people confuse prickly pear’s taste with pineapple, but it is a berry and resembles more on flavor with raspberry and strawberry.
The fruit has numerous seeds and sweet fleshy pulp. Some people also tend to compare the taste like a mixture of classic bubble gum and watermelon.
The taste may also differ with its age as the first fruits contain a more concentrated flavor, which expands as the size grows more substantial and elongated.
Prickly pears are more commonly known as tuna and include many nutritional benefits.
The prickly pears bear similarity to dragon fruit and contain health-benefiting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
The juicy pulp also contains betalain, which helps your body to fight against cancers, aging, and inflammation.
The vitamins present in the fruit also make it an excellent addition to your diet, and the rich flavor it produces scores more than most regular berries.
How to Cook & Use Prickly Pear in Recipes?
You may want to take more precautions while dealing with prickly pears, unlike any other berry.
As expected, you need to take off the thorns before preparing the fruit for your recipes.
Tip: A thick leather glove and a sharp knife or pliers will be the ideal tools you should have while removing the spikes from the fruit.
Scrubbing the fruit is also an excellent option.
Here are some of the many ways you can use prickly pears in your recipes and drinks.
You can use prickly pears to make drinks such as lemonade, juice, and cocktails.
Prickly pears also enhance the flavors when used in jellies, cupcakes, and marmalade.
You can also boil the fruit with lemon juice and orange, which makes for an excellent sauce for cheesecakes and salads.
Here is a list of nine delicious prickly pear recipes by Healthline that you may want to try.
Prickly pears are not your regular pears at least by how they look, but this red fruit contains health benefits that can dwarf most regular berries.
Whether you buy it from your local store or you get it fresh, this tasty pear is a welcome addition for many recipes.
With nutritional values that scores high and a blend of flavors that it contains makes it an ideal and essential ingredient for any kitchen.