Prickly Pear in our A-Z - Cooking Index
The prickly pear is a type of cactus which grows in a round disk shape, the fruit of which is edible.
Cactus figs are often used to make candies and jelly and a refreshing drink. The fruit is a favourite in Sicilian cuisine, where it is called ficurinnia. Prickly pear has to be peeled carefully to remove the small spines on the outer skin before consumption. If the outer layer is not properly removed, glochids can be ingested causing discomfort of the throat, lips, and tongue as the small spines are easily lodged in the skin.
The cactus originates from southern U.S.A and can be found throughout Mexico. The plant however is now cultivated throughout Europe where it is also known as Indian Figs.
The gel-like sap of prickly pears can be used as hair conditioner.