cactus pear (tuna) fruit

How To Eat A Cactus Pear Fruit

I was at the fruit section of the grocery store, and something caught my eye.  There was a huge sign that said “Tuna”, and under the sign was a box with a weird fruit that I never tried before.  Tuna what?  I went to look closer, and the unusual fruits had the stickers that said “Cactus Pear”.  They were 2 for a dollar, so of course, I had to get some.

Here’s a picture of the cactus pear that I got:

cactus pear (tuna) fruit

When I got home, I searched the net to find out why the cactus pear was labeled “tuna” at the store.  What is just a mistake, or tuna is another name for a cactus pear?  A quick Google search for cactus pear tuna revealed that “tuna” indeed is another name for a cactus pear.  Cactus pear can be referred to as prickly pear, cactus fruit, cactus fig, Indian fig or tuna!

Here’s how I ate the cactus pear fruit.  First I cut it in half.  Inside, it had a bright red flesh with lots of seeds.

Below is the picture of the cactus pear fruit cut in half:

cactus pear fruit cut in half

Then I scooped out the flesh of the cactus pear fruit with a spoon.  Here’s a picture of the cactus pear flesh without the skin:

the inside of cactus pear tuna fruit

And here’s a picture of the skin of the cactus pear fruit right after I scooped out all the insides.  The skin of the cactus pear is pretty thick, and will go in the garbage!

the skin of prickly cactus pear tuna fruit

Cactus pear has pretty large seeds.  You can eat cactus pear with the seeds, or you can spit them out.  I ate the cactus pear like the pomegranate – put it in my mouth, sucked out all the juice and spit out the seeds.

Here’s the picture of the seeds of the cactus pear fruit:

the seeds of prickly cactus pear tuna fruit

How does the cactus pear fruit taste? It’s really sweet.  Will I buy it again?  No. I hated the seeds :)  To me, the cactus pear didn’t taste good enough to want to deal with all those seeds.

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14 replies
  1. Julie M.
    Julie M. says:

    It’s funny, I lived in Arizona for a year and never actually dug into my own prickly pear. I have had jam and the like though. It is a nice flavor, but it does look a bit messy to work with all those seeds.

    Reply
  2. Dushanna Mills
    Dushanna Mills says:

    I am from the Caribbean and grew up eating it but never knew about the Medical components of this fruit, the were more eaten by Birds but I am the one to try anything if the Bird can eat it it has to be good was my idea as a child. I buy them and makes smoothies.love them

    Reply
  3. tony frandina
    tony frandina says:

    I first tried Cactus Pears in Sicily. They grow wild along the side of the roads. I eat it as I would an orange, (many ways). The easiest way is to cut it lengthwise giving you four quarters. Pick it up by its ends and sink your teeth into the flesh, eating the seeds. They are edible. Not a very sweet fruit but juicy, rich in vitamin C.

    Reply
  4. richie
    richie says:

    the trick to eat the cactus pears is after removing the skin, put in strainer screen or cloth and mash them so liquid will pour out and leave all the seeds behind.

    Reply
  5. Susan
    Susan says:

    Mix a paste of water & baking soda (wet but thick), and apply to any of the spines in your skin. Let it dry & when it flakes off – the splinter is gone. Seriously – the most important thing to know before starting this.
    (and yes, you can burn off the little “hairs”, but I still went over it with a knife after… those suckers are EVIL!)

    Reply
  6. Benilda
    Benilda says:

    Thank you,I have not try it yet. At least I know how I will eat it. I just have a question: what do you mean by (those suckers are EVIL)?

    Reply
  7. Bea
    Bea says:

    I don’t spit out the seeds of a pomegranate either. But if you really want to know other ways to eat the prickly pear fruit, look it up on the web. Actually, just about all of the prickly pear plant is edible. There are plenty of recipes for it on the web.

    Reply
  8. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    What she meant by ‘evil’ are the tiny, hairlike spines covering the pear. I didn’t notice them upon cutting into one by proceeded to find 10 sticking out of my skin. They are really tiny and sting! I tried at em wth a tweezer but they mean business (read: stuck!) so I’m going to try that baking soda idea!

    Reply
  9. Mike Parus
    Mike Parus says:

    I just cut them in half length-wise and scoop the insides into a blender. I let it run for a minute and then pour the liquid through a strainer into a bowl. The strainer catches all the seeds. You paid too much for your cactus pears. The red cactus pears run six for a dollar. Yesterday I bought green cactus pears. They were on sale at ten for a dollar. They say the seeds won’t harm you when swallowed, but I don’t want to do that.

    Reply

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