Week 7: Cactus Pear

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Cactus Pear, also known as Opuntia or prickly pear, is the fruit of cacti, native to the Americas, Mexico, Africa, Australia, and the Mediterranean. Interestingly enough, the cactus pear is not a member of the pear family, contrary to its name. Cactus pear comes in a variety of colors, like green, yellow, and beet red. The size of the fruit is about the size of a large kiwi and is covered in small bumps called glochids. Although the fruit can be peeled and eaten raw, many suggest eating the fruit as a candy, jam, juice, or wine.


It is not rare to see dark rose-colored cactus pears in a grocery store, but somehow, they had never called my attention before.  I figured they could be an exotic food, at least for me, so I picked three for my weekly resolution.  

They looked plump and juicy from outside. I decided to peel them open and simply eat them raw. The insides of the fruit were purplish-red colored. I was surprised at how many seeds there were in the fruit. Despite the bright color of a ripe fruit, its flesh was a little insipid. Its taste reminded me of dragon fruit, but with larger and harder seeds which made it hard to chew. There wasn’t much pulp compared to the seeds, much to my disappointment.  

I am not sure whether I will eat it again—at least not eating it raw.