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Mexican Cooking (alt.food.mexican-cooking) A newsgroup created for the discussion and sharing of mexican food and recipes.

"Cactus Fig"



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2004, 02:26 PM
Gareth Evans
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Posts: n/a
Default "Cactus Fig"

Hi,

I just bought four of these things in my local supemarket. Label says
Cactus Fig grown in Mexico."
They are about three inches long, shaped like an egg and have clearly had
spikes removed from them.
I was intrigued...
What do I do with them?
Any suggestions?

--
Gareth Rowan
www.toocountry.co.uk
{ o}===:::/TOO COUNTRY\:::==={o }


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2004, 04:11 PM
James A. Finley
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Default


"Gareth Evans" wrote in message
...
Hi,

I just bought four of these things in my local supemarket. Label says
Cactus Fig grown in Mexico."
They are about three inches long, shaped like an egg and have clearly had
spikes removed from them.
I was intrigued...
What do I do with them?
Any suggestions?

--
Gareth Rowan
www.toocountry.co.uk
{ o}===:::/TOO COUNTRY\:::==={o }


It is the fruit of the prickly pear cactus. In Mexico it is called a "tuna".
A Google search on "cactus fruit" turned up 153,000 results.

Jim


  #3 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2004, 04:12 PM
krusty kritter
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Posts: n/a
Default

From: "Gareth Evans"

I just bought four of these things in my local supemarket. Label says Cactus

Fig grown in Mexico."(snip description)

"Cactus figs" are an example of a truly authentic Mexican food, but the Moors
of North Africa were probably eating them (or letting their goats eat them)
thousands of years ago...

I don't think you could get any more "authentic" in Mexican cooking than to
prepare and eat something that grows wild in Mexico and which was eaten by the
Mexican Indians, for the last 500 years, at least...

Many other traditional "Mexican" dishes are actually attempts by the criollos
to reproduce *Spanish cuisine* while lacking many of the spices and ingredients
that would have been available in Spain, but which couldn't be obtained in
Mexico...

Prickly pear is a native of north Africa which may have been brought to Spain
by the Moors and then imported into the New World by the Spanish colonists...

It spreads over southern California hillsides, pushing out the native
vegetation, like the other plant pests from Europe and Asia which most
Californians ignore or simply assume are native plants...

What do I do with them?

Any suggestions?

Depends upon how adventurous you are. Do you have a burro or a goat to feed
them to? Animals don't mind a few thorns in the tongue...

If eaten raw while ripe, they are reasonably sweet and have seeds to spit
out...

And, you might look up recipes for "nopalitos" or even "tuna" which is a
Spanish word for cactus...

I remember seeing a Mexican-American family in Griffith Park, throwing rocks at
something on a cliff above them.
I stopped to see if they were throwing rocks at a rattlesnake and asked what
they were doing. One of the rock throwers said that they were just "trying to
get the tuna..."

I once stopped alongside the highway with a bunch of fellow bikers and picked a
prickly pear, peeled it, and ate it like you would any fruit picked off a tree
to prove how macho I was...

But I failed to remove every single one of the thorns and got one stuck in my
lip...








# * 0 * #
^



  #4 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2004, 05:27 PM
Dani
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Default

Taken from: http://www.theepicentre.com/Recipes/xcactus.html :




Ensalada de Nopalitos (Cactus Salad)

Green Beans or chayote can be substituted if cactus is not available.

a.. 3 cups cooked nopaoles
b.. 3 tbsp chopped white onion
c.. 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
d.. 1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
e.. 2 tbsp fresh lime juice or vinegar

The Topping
f.. 3 tomatoes, sliced
g.. 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
h.. 1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco or añejo or monterey jack cheese
i.. 1/3 cup purple onion rings
j.. 3 canned chiles jalapeños en escabeche, cut into quarters
lengthwise
k.. 1 avocado, peeled and sliced (optional)
l.. romaine lettuce for the side of the serving platter
1.. Mix the nopalitos with the next four ingredients and set aside to
season for 30 minutes. Stir well and adjust seasoning.
2.. Spread the nopalitos over the platter about 1 1/2 inches deep.
Decorate with the tomatoes slices and top with cilantro, cheese, onion
rings, chile strips, and slices of avocado (if used).
3.. Overlap the romaine leaves around the edges of the platter and
serve at room temperature.




Looks to be a cactus salad. I've had nopalitos before - but that was in a
restaurant in Arizona.
Dani


"Gareth Evans" wrote in message
...
Hi,

I just bought four of these things in my local supemarket. Label says
Cactus Fig grown in Mexico."
They are about three inches long, shaped like an egg and have clearly had
spikes removed from them.
I was intrigued...
What do I do with them?
Any suggestions?

--
Gareth Rowan
www.toocountry.co.uk
{ o}===:::/TOO COUNTRY\:::==={o }








Attached Thumbnails
cactus-fig-epilogo2.gif  
Attached Images
 
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2004, 05:27 PM
Dani
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Taken from: http://www.theepicentre.com/Recipes/xcactus.html :




Ensalada de Nopalitos (Cactus Salad)

Green Beans or chayote can be substituted if cactus is not available.

a.. 3 cups cooked nopaoles
b.. 3 tbsp chopped white onion
c.. 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
d.. 1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
e.. 2 tbsp fresh lime juice or vinegar

The Topping
f.. 3 tomatoes, sliced
g.. 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
h.. 1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco or añejo or monterey jack cheese
i.. 1/3 cup purple onion rings
j.. 3 canned chiles jalapeños en escabeche, cut into quarters
lengthwise
k.. 1 avocado, peeled and sliced (optional)
l.. romaine lettuce for the side of the serving platter
1.. Mix the nopalitos with the next four ingredients and set aside to
season for 30 minutes. Stir well and adjust seasoning.
2.. Spread the nopalitos over the platter about 1 1/2 inches deep.
Decorate with the tomatoes slices and top with cilantro, cheese, onion
rings, chile strips, and slices of avocado (if used).
3.. Overlap the romaine leaves around the edges of the platter and
serve at room temperature.




Looks to be a cactus salad. I've had nopalitos before - but that was in a
restaurant in Arizona.
Dani


"Gareth Evans" wrote in message
...
Hi,

I just bought four of these things in my local supemarket. Label says
Cactus Fig grown in Mexico."
They are about three inches long, shaped like an egg and have clearly had
spikes removed from them.
I was intrigued...
What do I do with them?
Any suggestions?

--
Gareth Rowan
www.toocountry.co.uk
{ o}===:::/TOO COUNTRY\:::==={o }








Attached Thumbnails
cactus-fig-epilogo2.gif  
Attached Images
 
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2004, 05:29 PM
Dani
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

From: http://www.recipegoldmine.com/vegnopalitos/veg109.html

Nopalitos (Little Cacti)
3/4 pound nopal cactus paddles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon vinegar

Remove thorns from the cactus paddles and cut them into strips about 2
inches long by 1/4 inch wide. Boil the cactus paddles until they are soft
and the texture is much like that of cooked bell pepper.

Heat a saucepan over moderate heat. Add olive oil, jalapeño chile and
onion. Cook until the onion is soft but not browned. Turn the heat to low.
Add tomatoes, cooked cactus paddles and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 30
minutes, adding the vinegar for the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Serves 4.




This is more like the dish I had.

Dani


"Gareth Evans" wrote in message
...
Hi,

I just bought four of these things in my local supemarket. Label says
Cactus Fig grown in Mexico."
They are about three inches long, shaped like an egg and have clearly had
spikes removed from them.
I was intrigued...
What do I do with them?
Any suggestions?

--
Gareth Rowan
www.toocountry.co.uk
{ o}===:::/TOO COUNTRY\:::==={o }




  #7 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2004, 05:29 PM
Dani
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

From: http://www.recipegoldmine.com/vegnopalitos/veg109.html

Nopalitos (Little Cacti)
3/4 pound nopal cactus paddles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon vinegar

Remove thorns from the cactus paddles and cut them into strips about 2
inches long by 1/4 inch wide. Boil the cactus paddles until they are soft
and the texture is much like that of cooked bell pepper.

Heat a saucepan over moderate heat. Add olive oil, jalapeño chile and
onion. Cook until the onion is soft but not browned. Turn the heat to low.
Add tomatoes, cooked cactus paddles and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 30
minutes, adding the vinegar for the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Serves 4.




This is more like the dish I had.

Dani


"Gareth Evans" wrote in message
...
Hi,

I just bought four of these things in my local supemarket. Label says
Cactus Fig grown in Mexico."
They are about three inches long, shaped like an egg and have clearly had
spikes removed from them.
I was intrigued...
What do I do with them?
Any suggestions?

--
Gareth Rowan
www.toocountry.co.uk
{ o}===:::/TOO COUNTRY\:::==={o }




  #8 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2004, 05:30 PM
Dani
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

And here they are candied at
http://www.recipegoldmine.com/swcandy/swcandy5.html :



Candied Nopalitos (Nopalitos en almíbar)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
4 young cactus paddles, all spines removed

Bring water and sugar to a boil over medium to medium-high heat.

Meanwhile cut clean nopalitos into 1 x 3-inch pieces or into small shapes
with a cookie cuter. Rinse the nopalitos under cold water until the
mucous-like substance that can be seen along cut portions disappears. Add
the nopalitos to the boiling syrup, turn the heat down until it is just a
bare simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.

With tongs, remove the nopalitos to a plate and spoon some syrup over them.
Serve with coffee and dessert after a meal.



MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Dani

"Gareth Evans" wrote in message
...
Hi,

I just bought four of these things in my local supemarket. Label says
Cactus Fig grown in Mexico."
They are about three inches long, shaped like an egg and have clearly had
spikes removed from them.
I was intrigued...
What do I do with them?
Any suggestions?

--
Gareth Rowan
www.toocountry.co.uk
{ o}===:::/TOO COUNTRY\:::==={o }




  #9 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2004, 05:30 PM
Dani
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

And here they are candied at
http://www.recipegoldmine.com/swcandy/swcandy5.html :



Candied Nopalitos (Nopalitos en almíbar)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
4 young cactus paddles, all spines removed

Bring water and sugar to a boil over medium to medium-high heat.

Meanwhile cut clean nopalitos into 1 x 3-inch pieces or into small shapes
with a cookie cuter. Rinse the nopalitos under cold water until the
mucous-like substance that can be seen along cut portions disappears. Add
the nopalitos to the boiling syrup, turn the heat down until it is just a
bare simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.

With tongs, remove the nopalitos to a plate and spoon some syrup over them.
Serve with coffee and dessert after a meal.



MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Dani

"Gareth Evans" wrote in message
...
Hi,

I just bought four of these things in my local supemarket. Label says
Cactus Fig grown in Mexico."
They are about three inches long, shaped like an egg and have clearly had
spikes removed from them.
I was intrigued...
What do I do with them?
Any suggestions?

--
Gareth Rowan
www.toocountry.co.uk
{ o}===:::/TOO COUNTRY\:::==={o }




  #10 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2004, 05:34 PM
Dani
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I found this website too. It gives you all the information you ever wanted
about nopales: http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/nopalitos.htm

Enjoy!
Dani


"Gareth Evans" wrote in message
...
Hi,

I just bought four of these things in my local supemarket. Label says
Cactus Fig grown in Mexico."
They are about three inches long, shaped like an egg and have clearly had
spikes removed from them.
I was intrigued...
What do I do with them?
Any suggestions?

--
Gareth Rowan
www.toocountry.co.uk
{ o}===:::/TOO COUNTRY\:::==={o }




  #11 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2004, 05:34 PM
Dani
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I found this website too. It gives you all the information you ever wanted
about nopales: http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/nopalitos.htm

Enjoy!
Dani


"Gareth Evans" wrote in message
...
Hi,

I just bought four of these things in my local supemarket. Label says
Cactus Fig grown in Mexico."
They are about three inches long, shaped like an egg and have clearly had
spikes removed from them.
I was intrigued...
What do I do with them?
Any suggestions?

--
Gareth Rowan
www.toocountry.co.uk
{ o}===:::/TOO COUNTRY\:::==={o }




  #12 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2004, 06:16 PM
James A. Finley
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Dani" wrote in message
...
I found this website too. It gives you all the information you ever wanted
about nopales: http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/nopalitos.htm

Enjoy!
Dani


"Gareth Evans" wrote in message
...
Hi,

I just bought four of these things in my local supemarket. Label says
Cactus Fig grown in Mexico."
They are about three inches long, shaped like an egg and have clearly

had
spikes removed from them.
I was intrigued...
What do I do with them?
Any suggestions?

--
Gareth Rowan
www.toocountry.co.uk
{ o}===:::/TOO COUNTRY\:::==={o }




Keep In mind that the original poster asked about the fruit, not nopales.

Jim


  #13 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2004, 08:33 PM
David Wright
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Posts: n/a
Default

On Mon, 18 Oct 2004 16:34:40 GMT, "Dani" wrote:

I found this website too. It gives you all the information you ever wanted
about nopales: http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/nopalitos.htm

Enjoy!
Dani


FYI, Dani, nopales are from the cactus paddles, not the fruit. The
fruits are called either "pears" or "tuna," (Spanish).

David
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 18-10-2004, 11:21 PM
Rolly
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Posts: n/a
Default

"Dani" wrote in message .. .
I found this website too. It gives you all the information you ever wanted
about nopales: http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/nopalitos.htm

Enjoy!
Dani



Here is another nopales webpage with pictures of growing, havesting,
preparing and cooking: http://rollybrook.com/nopales.htm
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 19-10-2004, 12:40 AM
David Wright
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Posts: n/a
Default

On 18 Oct 2004 15:21:11 -0700, (Rolly) wrote:

Here is another nopales webpage with pictures of growing, havesting,
preparing and cooking:
http://rollybrook.com/nopales.htm

Good for you, Rolly, I always enjoy your posts. But what about saying
something about the OP's question about the fruit, not the nopales?

David
 




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