The fruit of the prickly pear cactus, also called cactus fig or Indian fig has a rugged and -- as you would imagine -- prickly outer skin. Underneath is a delicious, sweet fruit. It can be something of a chore getting through to the fruit, but it's worth the trouble. Choose a prickly pears with a deep color -- either orange or purple for the sweetest fruits. If you have a store-bought prickly pear, the spines of the pear have probably been removed, which means you can handle it with your bare hands.
Things You'll Need
- Sharp knife
Handle an unprocessed prickly pear with canvas work gloves and place it in a bowl of cold water. Rub away the spines with an abrasive kitchen scrubber. Or, cut the spines off with a knife.
Remove the skin, while still wearing your gloves, by slicing the top and bottom off with a sharp knife. Cut along the skin of the pear from top to bottom, making the indent deep enough to insert a knife in and peel off the skin.
Chop the prickly pear into pieces.
- Photo Credit MamaMiaPL/iStock/Getty Images
What Type of Cactus Is Good to Eat for Diabetes?
The prickly pear cactus is a plant and is also a popular food in Mexico, Europe, India, North Africa and Australia. In...
How to Cook Cactus
Prickly pear cactus, or nopales, are a traditional food in certain parts of Mexico. Their slightly sour green bean-like flavor adds an...
How to Grow Prickly Pear Cactus
Tough and undemanding, prickly pears (Opuntia spp.) grow in hot, dry garden spots that are a problem for leafy plants. With about...
How to Eat Fresh Figs
Fresh, ripe figs are an absolute treat. They can be enjoyed on their own, but they also pair beautifully with a wide...
How to Clean a Prickly Pear Cactus
In Mexican cuisine, the prickly pear cactus paddle is called nopales; when it is chopped up it is known as nopalitos. Before...
How to Freeze a Prickly Pear Cactus
The prickly pear cactus guards its fruit well with long, sharp spines. The fruit itself also has smaller spines, called glochids. Once...
What Is a Cactus Pear?
The spiny, rounded fruits of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia spp.) are referred to as prickly pear, tuna or sometimes cactus pear. Botanists...
What Is Prickly Pear Cactus Good For?
The prickly pear cactus is known by several names. In Spanish, the flat, fleshy leaves are called "nopales." In Mexico, the tube-shaped...
What Eats the Prickly Pear?
Both the fruits and the pads of prickly pear cactus are edible. The plant grows in clusters up to 10 feet in...