Most people don’t think of cacti, those thorny species of the desert, as being fruit-bearing plants, but it’s true! Some cacti born in the dry Southwest bear luscious fruit that can be made into jelly, wine, candy, licorice, teas and much more.
The opuntia, commonly called the prickly pear cactus, is perhaps one of the best known (as well as the saguaro cactus) and best loved. Best known because it is so widely found from California, Florida to Europe and the West Indies. Best loved due to the bountiful yield of pulpy, red, deliciously tangy fruits or “prickly pears” that this cactus produces every fall season.
If you haven’t tried a Southwest specialty product made from the prickly pear cactus then now is the time!