The prickly pear cactus is one of the larger groups of cactus. Often called beaver tailed cactus due to their large pads. The prickly pear cactus produces several types of edibles and belongs to both vegetables and fruits. It is one of the few plants that are both.
The Cactus Vegetables
The green cactus pads can be eaten as well, they are called Nopales and are the vegetable. In spite of the pad’s armament, they have been used for food probably as long as humans have been in their native region. Nopales are eaten either raw or cooked. Once cooked, they have a slightly slimy texture, but the flavor is appealing and adds to your recipes.
The Cactus Fruits
The beautiful and juicy fruits of the cactus are called Prickly Pears, they are delicious and can be found in jams and jellies. These neon fruits provide delicious juice that tastes like a cross between all-natural bubblegum and watermelon. Disappointingly enough they are only available in summer months.
If you don't have access to wild cactus and can't grow it in your backyard, you may be able to find it canned in the Mexican foods section of your supermarket. You might also find them in the fruit section of your store from time to time.