Spines shaved off, cactus pads
go into soup, salad, other dishes
Purchased cactus pads
usually have the prickly spines removed.
Diaz Romero, "Physicochemical characterization of cactus pads
from Opuntia dillenii and Opuntia ficus indica," Food Chemistry, vol.
Cactus moth larvae feed within cactus pads
, also referred to as cladodes, which are then quickly taken over by bacterial rot and fungi, and which kill the plant (Mann 1970).
Prickly pear cactus pads
, filleted: Wear gloves to hold the pads while using a sharp knife to gently fillet the exterior skin off the pads.
I watched the larger of the two mow through pound after pound of cactus pads
. Although I cringed at the thought of a mouth and face full of thorns, the Cadillac-sized bull seemed not to care.
Split hooves rang on the hollow rocks from all directions until three dozen Spanish goats--billies, nannies, and kids--swooped into sight among the rocks and cactus above and below me, tearing green pulpy cactus pads
flee, their beards dripping with juice.
I stirred in the roasted peppers and bacon from earlier, added two 16-ounce cans of red kidney beans and a 12-ounce can of pintos, a 14-ounce jar of nopalitos (young cactus pads
, a Mexican delicacy, available in the ethnic section of most groceries), which I'd already rinsed, drained and chopped.
* Nopales: Popular in the Mexican diet, nopales (nopalitos or cactus pads
) offer many nutritious advantages and are a great option for patients with diabetes or high blood pressure.
Their eating habits vary by range, but herbs, annual forbs, grasses, shrubs, cactus pads
, and fruit make up the bulk of their diet.
So fond are saddlebacks of the juicy pulp in cactus pads
and trunks--their only source of water during long droughts--that they would soon exterminate the plants with their sharp jaws if they could.
Start at the bottom level of a three-tiered compote with a carpet of cactus pads
. Work your way up the levels, mounding fruits and vegetables in place.