WANTED: Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit

longandrink(7a)June 6, 2008

I'm trying to find a source of ~3 lbs local Prickly Pear Fruit for use in brewing a mead (yes, Papazian sold me on it). If anyone has any canned cactus figs or could let me know where I could find some, to purchase or in the wild, I'd be much obliged.

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tamelask(z8a NC)

Well, if you want fresh you need to wait a few mos. They ripen up here in august - oct. I know there's a big hedgerow of them on Penny road, from the lake wheeler rd side about 2 miles up, and also one up on western blvd, close to blue ridge road. You could stop and ask if they minded if you harvest.

Have you checked latino markets & stores? If anyone had them, esp canned, it would be them. There's a big 'international market' up the hill, on the left behind the wendy's, on 401/70 right after they join in garner (heading north). I haven't been myself, but TJohn was telling me about it. I'd check somewhere like that first. Also, I haven't noticed the fruits being sold, but it makes sense they might get them in at the farmer's market on the bulk end. There's a latino section on the left side of the 'drive in welcome' building and they often have the pads. You could ask if they get in the fruit, but i bet they do. It's riley's produce.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 5:40PM
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trianglejohn

Krogers in Garner has them now over in the produce section with the other tropicals are. They won't look exactly like the fruit on local prickly pears, they are rarely purple or even red. The sold variety is most often the fruit from West Indian Fig - a large tropical form of cactus grown throughout the tropics. It gets big, blooms a log and makes a lot of fruit. Usually from the store most of the tiny spines have been washed off but you might want to cut off the spiny areas just to be safe. Most folks peel them or slice them and eat only the meaty part with the seeds. Even if they are mostly green they all taste the same. The purple or red fruit you can gather from local plants tends to be very metallic tasting but sweet and tropical at the same time. Watch out, it can permanently stain everything, clothing, skin, wood, plastic and sometimes even metal!!!!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 3:22PM
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