Get ready for a fruit that’s as delicious as it is beautiful! Prickly pears are the fruit of the opuntia genus of cacti. They’re shaped a bit like an upside down pear and have a thick, leathery skin that’s similar in texture to the cactus from which it grows. They’re beloved for their honey sweet flavor and bold, orange, magenta and ruby colored flesh.
Prickly pear fruit has a uniquely sweet and earthy flavor. It tastes of soft red berries with hints of watermelon and cucumber. The texture of their flesh is similar to a cross between melon and dragon fruit, and is often orange, deep maroon or magenta in color. At their peak ripeness, prickly pears have a pleasant berry fragrance that makes for an exceptional fruit experience!
Once you add prickly pears to your fruitine, you’ll be adding them to just about everything! Enjoy raw prickly pear as a snack, in salads, or stir it into yogurt and granola. Concoct creative compotes, sauces, sorbets and jellies with fresh prickly pear fruit and juice. Your cocktails, mocktails, teas and fresh juices will experience a serious upgrade with this nutritious fruit.
These fruits get their name, in part, for their prickly spikes found covering the skin in tiny nodes. Take extra care when handling specialty prickly pears, as they may still have some of those fine needles! How to prepare your prickly pear will depend on the recipe you’re using. Here are the most common ways to prepare prickly pear for just about any recipe.