How to Eat a Cactus Pear

Delicious fruit awaits under the skin of the prickly pear.
Delicious fruit awaits under the skin of the prickly pear. (Image: MamaMiaPL/iStock/Getty Images)

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

  • Gloves
  • Sharp knife

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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.


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