Eat Cactus and Live!
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Yes, cactus pads or paddles, are another taste-good gift from our neighbor, Mexico. The nopales4“fruit” of its plant is the Prickly Pear. Taste? Nopales, the vegetable, tastes a bit like green beans, also asparagus. Yet cactus pads have a tangy taste, as well.

Sure. Like all cactae, all real-life nopales pads have prickly needles or spines. Just as we no longer fear eating fish because of its bones, proper removal of spines from cactus leaves is explained in a video below. Nopales are also available in jars or cans but, the fresh ones are a lot more appealing, as is any fresh vegetable.

Rivenrock Gardens has been growing nopales since 1993 and compiled this video to help you remove the cactus needles, if they haven’t been. It’s a good idea to wear gloves for this. Rinse pads when finished. Continue reading

Eating Cactus and Liking It
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When they eat it, they call it nopales. Just as we now safely eat fish which has had tiny bones, the Mexican people have demonstrated we can eat cactus without its prickly needles.

Pleasantly tart, they taste a bit like green beans or asparagus. Sometimes called “cactus paddles” or “prickly pear cactus,” they are fleshy pads about the size of one’s hand. Like so many original Mexican crops, fresh nopales are now available on a limited basis in U.S. supermarkets, also in cans or jars. Nopales are a natural on the grill and an interesting accent with grilled steaks. Continue reading