RE: [CH] Nopalitos?

David A. Verbil (
Wed, 25 Mar 1998 13:53:38 -0700


      Prickly Pear _is_ the correct referent to the 
entire plant. Around here, with the great variety of Opuntia 
species, it is used to refer to those Opuntias which have flat 
pads as opposed to Cholla, which refers to those Opuntias with 
cylindrical stems ... the fruit of the prickly pear is called 
tuna. Can't remember the name for the fruit of the cholla (if 
there is one) but it used to be a part of the diet of the people 
around here a looong time ago. Archaeologists have found many 
pits which were used to roast the cholla fruit - which are 
smaller, _much_ spinier and have a tougher skin than tunas ...


> 	Hi All
> 	I have a problem with semantics described below:
> 	Nopalitos are indeed a cactus leaf which has been cleaned & peeled
> then diced [usually] and/or cut into strips - it's available canned as well
> as fresh (around here) - it tastes interesting (can't really compare it to
> anything - its in a league of its own) & is great w/scrambled eggs
> 	Prickley Pear Cactus is the fruit of the cactus - every spring the
> cactus flowers [wonderful exotic aroma], part of the flowering portion
> remains and grows to the size of [about] a tennis ball - in later summer,
> the fruit starts turning pink-to-red - this is picked, cleaned, peeld &
> served as a fruit - it tastes rather like watermelon & is quite yummy