Picking a prickly pear - this is how it works without sore fingers

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Prickly pears are highlights in the garden. Especially because they bear delicious fruit. However, harvesting them is not that easy. After all, they are prickly.

Prickly pears taste sweet and sour

Those who can pick figs from their own prickly pear cactus are a lucky minority in Germany. Because not everyone dares to plant a prickly pear in the garden. Most people think that cacti only thrive in very hot areas. But that's not correct. Prickly pears also thrive in German gardens.

At the latest, if your prickly pear bears fruit, you know he's fine. In order for everything to go smoothly in the truest sense of the word - spiny-free - when harvesting the delicious fruit, you have to pay attention to a lot. Otherwise, the harvest can quickly become a painful affair.

When are prickly pears ripe?

Depending on the climatic conditions at the location of the prickly pear cactus you can harvest the fruits in late summer or autumn. Do not rely on the color of the shell. This does not provide a reliable indication of maturity, because similar to mangoes, prickly pears can be green, yellow or red. Instead, test with thumb and forefinger if the pulp is soft enough. When it yields to light pressure, the time has come to reap the prickly pears. However, the final proof of the maturity is provided by the taste: the prickly pear must have a full sweet sour aroma. Therefore, first pick a single fruit and make the pleasing palate sample.

How do you pick the figs from the cactus?

Harvesting prickly pears is not art, but requires caution. The shell of a prickly pear is finally peppered with fine spines, which hold with their barbs in the skin, once you have spit. Fortunately, the spikes can be easily rubbed off or brushed off. Hold the fruit in a prick-free area with the fingers of one hand and rub newspaper over it with newspaper or a soft, soft brush. Most of the spines fall off. Protect your hand with paper or a glove for safety if you release the fig from the cactus with a rotating pull.

How do you best peel prickly pears?

To be on the safe side, also put on gloves to peel the prickly pears. In the first step, remove the top and bottom of the fruit by cutting them with a sharp knife. Then scrape the bowl lengthwise and roll the pulp out of the bowl with the help of a fork and a spoon. The fork holds the bowl while pushing the spoon between the bowl and the pulp.

How do you eat prickly pears?

Cut into small cubes, the prickly pear is a real treat. Incidentally, the seeds are edible and do not need to be removed. You can also use them to increase the prickly pear cactus. If you want variety, you can also put the fruit in natural yoghurt, process it into sherbet, make jam or use it as an ingredient in a mixed salad.

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