The Best Method For Cutting Cactus Fruit

Cactus fruit, commonly known as the prickly pear, may come from a frightful shrub but its sweet and nutritious flesh is worth the hassle of extracting it from the thorn-covered plant and then peeling it from its prickly skin. So before cutting a cactus fruit, be prepared to deal with the thorns (aka glochids) first. If you get your fruits from the grocery store, the thorns are most likely already removed. If not, don't worry because removing the glochids is a straightforward process.

First, hold the fruit with gloved hands or tongs to avoid getting pricked. Remove the hair-like thorns by scrubbing the skin using paper towels or scraping it with a knife. You can also burn off the spikes using an open flame from a candle, stovetop, or a blow torch. Once the fruit is completely thorn-free, you're ready to cut.

Position the pear horizontally on a cutting board and chop off the two ends. Next, make an incision from one end to the other cutting through the skin layer but not all the way through to the flesh. Now put the knife down and use your fingers to grab the skin through the slice you just made and pull at it on both sides. The skin of a ripe cactus fruit will come off easily exposing the fruit's succulent flesh inside.

How to eat cactus fruit

After cutting the prickly pear, you can chop it into tiny slices and eat it as is. There are many tiny black seeds inside but these are edible so just munch away. Alternatively, the cactus fruit can be a great addition to a bowl of fruit salad thanks to its sweet and slightly tangy flavor coupled with its visually stunning bright color which can vary from green, orange, or red depending on the type of cactus.

Cactus fruit contains lots of water and for that reason, it's perfect for making or adding to beverages. Just blend or pulp the flesh and pass it through a sieve to remove the seeds then mix it with lemonade for a refreshing fruit juice, add it to iced tea for a unique flavor twist, or make a cactus fruit smoothie. You can also incorporate cactus juice into cocktails like in our prickly pear cactus margarita, and jams, or use it to make candy. If you're a fan of frozen desserts, turn your cactus fruit pulp into a delicious sorbet. The options are endless.