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Prickly Pear

Prickly Pears

Prickly Pears are included in the genus of Opuntia in the cactus family, Cactaceae. The fruit of prickly pears, commonly called cactus figs, Indian fig or tuna, is edible, although it has to be peeled carefully to remove the small spines on the outer skin before consumption. Today, parthenocarpic (seedless) cultivars are also available.

Cactus figs are often used to make candies and jelly and a refreshing drink. The fruit is a favourite in Sicilian cuisine, where it is called ficurinnia. The prickly pear also grows widely onthe islands of Malta where it is enjoyed by the Maltese as a typical summer fruit as well as being used to make the popular liqueur known as Bajtra.