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Yellow Cactus Pears

Jan 15, 2020
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Botanically speaking, yellow cactus pears are berries since they are the flowers of cactus pads. Maybe you’ll recognize the more familiar prickly pear.

Appearance & Flavor

This curious fruit is shaped like a kiwi and is covered in rough bumps and spines. The spines are small and thin like strands of hair. Their thick skin is golden yellow with patches of light pink and orange. Their yellowish-orange flesh is moist and contains black-brown seeds that are hard yet edible. When ripe, they are sweet-yet not as sweet as the red variety-with hints of melon, citrus, and fig. Chose ones that are firm with no blemishes or mold.

Ways to Enjoy

Eating them raw is usually the best; after being cooked, their flavor becomes mild. They are delicious in fruit salads, smoothies, and salsa. Use them as a topping for cereal and yogurt as well. If you do want to cook them, try making jam or syrup with them. Stay hydrated the rest of summer with this dressed-up water.

Availability & Origin

Yellow Cactus pears are available from late summer until early winter. Native to several areas including Mexico, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Australia, Italy, and the United States. You’re most likely to find them at farmer’s markets and specialty grocers.

Storage

When ripe, store unwashed in a plastic bag and you should get five days from them. When unripe and very firm, storing them at room temperature should help them ripen. After they’re cut, they do not store well so you’ll want to use all you’ve prepped.