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A Prickly Pear Season

A Prickly Pear Season

Prickly Pear Season

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The prickly pears lined the fences, the late spring flowers glowed with a luminous intensity, and the air grew thick with bees, butterflies, and the rains. Summer was only a few weeks away. Soon the leaves would come and the lawns would turn golden as they dried out.Prickly Pear, cactus fruit, tuna (Spanish), figure de Barbary (French) – whatever name you call it - this delicious plant has much to offer and is ripe for the picking! Late summer through early winter, September through December, is the peak season for Prickly Pears in the Northern hemisphere. The Prickly Pear fruit, actually a berry, has been used to treat diabetic issues, gastrointestinal problems, sunburn, and cold symptoms. The leaves of the Texas Prickly Pear Cactus, known as Nopalitos are a staple in many dishes. The deep red fruit, used to make jam, jelly, sorbet, wine, and margaritas, is also a fan-favorite Me & the Bees Lemonade flavor.

Fruit

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The cactus pear, also known as prickly pear (or by its Spanish name, tuna) is the fruit of the Opuntia cactus native to the southwestern US and Mexico. (The same succulent gives us cactus pads or nopales.) In the 16th century, the Opuntia cactus spread to the southern Mediterranean and Middle East, where the fruit acquired the name “Indian fig.” This thick-skinned fruit can vary in color from green to red to purple, and the vibrant magenta pulp contains many hard seeds. The flavor is melon-like and works well in salsas and juices, where the pureed pulp can be passed through a sieve to remove the seeds. Look for cactus pears at the farmers market in May and June. The cactus plant produces a delicious fruit. prickly pear, which comes in a range of colours from green to yellow, red, and purple. Several of them can be found in Malta. What is even more interesting, each of them has a distinctive name. The three most common varieties are the yellow fruit known as 'isfar' or 'Malti', the red one known as 'l-aħmar' or 'l-ingliż', and the white one called 'abjad' or FranÄ‹iż. This fruit is named after its pear shape and size, and is known for having a rather prickly skin. Inside it is made out of soft and porous flesh that ranges in colour from light yellow to a rich golden or ruby hue and has a sweet, melon-like aroma.

You can find prickly pears in a wide range of colors, both in stores and in the wild. The most dramatic and easiest to find in the San Antonio area has a deep magenta skin and interior color to match. Others may be green, yellow or orange on the outside with interior colors that are a solid light green, yellowish on the edges with a red core, or a solid yellowish to orange throughout the interior. The texture in a perfectly ripe fruit will be somewhat like a soft watermelon with a scattering of hard seeds throughout. Prepare. Use care in preparing the prickly pear for cooking, a pair thick leather gloves is recommended. Remove the sharp spines with pliers, cut off ends of the pear, make a shallow slit in the skin down the length of the fruit and peel back both the inner and outer layers skin back from top to bottom with a sharp knife. The prickly pear can have small stinging nearly invisible hairs. You can remove these hairs by passing the fruit through an open flame. To remove the seeds, press the fruit through a sieve or food mill. Be sure to remove the seeds before cooking, otherwise they will harden during cooking. (Source: harvesttotable.com)

 

 

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