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Thread: Let's eat some cactus!

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    swords's Avatar
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    Let's eat some cactus!

    Nope, not Peyote.. damn!

    So I finally found out some things to do with the Optunia leaves they sell at the grocery stores. So I made a few pans of beef and cactus burritos for work this weekend!

    First you gotta scrape the spines, just use a big wide knife and cut off all outter edges, then wash them in cold water




    Do not scrape off all the skin, they become a big slimey mess! I did that with the first pad and then tried to dice it. It was like a bunch of green worms having an orgy, all slimey and gooey! That went in the trash! Just scrape off the spines and cut off all around the edges and wash them then dice them up like a big flat gren pepper:


    First I sauteed them with onions then added the meat and black/green olives, garlic & herbs. The light green stuff in the pan is the cactus you can't see much but there's a 1/2 lb of cactus in there.


    The meat was browed fully and wrapped with cheese in corn tortilas.

    The Cactus is interesting. Raw it's very cooling to eat diced bits, they remind me of a cross between a cucumber and a green pepper but it has a very sweet aftertaste. Cooked in the burritos they are stiffer than a green pepper but don't give me the heartburn I always get from them and seem to add a certain sweetness.

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    ermahgerd petmantis's Avatar
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    Yum yum! i ate one of those yesterday, at the annual Montreal cactus eaters convention.
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    rattler's Avatar
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    the Optunia up here taste kinda like a banana thats not quite ripe.....roll them in sugar and they are pretty good....slimy when skinned is right but ive never felt it was a problem....but i never diced them either, but the pads i used were more round and about the size of my thumb......skinned, rolled in sugar than ate........
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    swords's Avatar
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    I've heard the smaller ones are more tender. I got the smallest they had, they had some that were like 12-18" in size! Have any of you tried the Optunia flower buds? I haven't seen those available here but I've heard about them. I thought about saving one pad to try and plant but since I screwed up that one I used my growing experiment one.

    I thought it was just nasty after I skinned it and the slime started running everywhere and I was afraid to cut it using my knife so I put it in a food chopper... then it turned into a pureed glob of what looked like that "wacky fun slime" they used to sell in plastic jars when I was a kid!

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    rattler's Avatar
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    could be ive only picked up wild growing ones during the summer and they may be a lil lacking on moisture compared to the ones yah bought
    cervid serial killer
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    Looks good! I'd like to try some of that. The only weird-ish food at the grocery store here is pineapples.
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    Quote Originally Posted by maneatingmoo View Post
    Looks good! I'd like to try some of that. The only weird-ish food at the grocery store here is pineapples.
    i know the feeling

    however if yah got a gas grill......fire it up and get it as hot as it will go......slice up the pineapple, melt some butter(real butter, not the fake crap), dip the pineapple slices in the melted butter than get them good and completely covered with cinnamon and sugar......throw them on the grill till the sugar/cinnamon/butter mixture caramelizes flipping them once in the process and you have an outstanding snack.........my wife will eat them till she makes herself sick.......if yah feel like experimenting, throw some vanilla in the butter or add some allspice to the cinnamon/sugar mix........
    cervid serial killer
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    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
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    CPlantaholic's Avatar
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    That brings back memories from my mission trip to mexico a few years ago.
    A family that we built a home for (actually about the size of a shed), had a small property with a shack for their home., but they crammed so many of those cacti in their yard that you could barely walk through there. They used the leaves as food, but also sold them on the corner of their street to try to come up with a little extra money.
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