Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Nancy in Pátzcuaro

Recipes for "tunas" (prickly pear)?

Recommended Posts

Now that "tunas," or the fruit of the nopal cactus, have started showing up in our local mercado, does anyone have any recipes that you would like to share? I've seen both the red and white (actually pale green) varieties.

I've seen a recipe for tuna sorbet (now doesn't that sound appetizing if you take it the wrong way?) and I recall a delicious prickly pear creme brulee about 10 years ago that still brings tears to my eyes. We had gone to Mesa Verde National Park for a few days, and the restaurant at the park hotel was unexpectedly excellent. We delayed our departure one day so that we could eat through more of the menu.

Any ideas for other uses would be greatly appreciated.

Nancy in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, México

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, there's always the obvious - cactus jelly. But you can make a lot of lovely drinks with them. I've had delicious Margaritas made with them and, as goatjunky says, they're gorgeous.

Here's a cake recipe that I saw a while back:

http://www.mykitchensnippets.com/2010/11/prickly-pear-chiffon-cake.html

Are the green ones xoconostle? If so, they're particularly prized and delicious.

http://www.ehow.com/how_8519313_eat-xoconostle.html

Another classic in Mexico is tuna paste. You probably have seen it for sale in sweets shops. It's wonderful with crackers and cheese, like you might have quince or guava paste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, everyone, for some good suggestions. Of course I should have searched the archives here, so thanks for suggesting that. I am going to experiment with my tunas--I have 3 red and 3 white--and will see what I can come up with. The red ones are just gorgeous, and if I do nothing more than make a sorbet or cut the flesh into chunks for a fruit salad, it will be good enough for me until I can figure out other ways to prepare them. I like the idea of infusing some tequila with the red ones...

Thanks--Nancy in Pátzcuaro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I cut into the tunas today. The red ones are a glorious color, but there were a zillion seeds, each one like a piece of gravel. We both liked the flavor of the red tunas vs. the green ones, but I don't know how people actually consume the seeds. I was worried about my dental work! I'll eat the seeds of a passionfruit any day, but these were just too hard for me.

At first I tried my food mill, but I ended up pushing everything through a medium sieve instead. A slightly tedious process, quite frankly. I put the resulting puree in ice cube trays in the freezer and I'll start working my way through the suggestions in the near future.

Nancy in Pátzcuaro (formerly Nancy in CO)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×