The prickly pear project

Trying out new flavours and discovering that you should have a long time ago is always fun to do. One of my faves actually, but this time the outcome was totally unexpected.

Here in Amsterdam we have to face it. Cactuses are in style, hip, trending… Cacti are having their moment supreme. The prickly little fellows are found everywhere as ultimate accessory adorning living magazines, hip blogs, trendy bars/restaurants with an industrial-modern-botanical-vibe and on the desk of that hipsteresque colleague in the art department whom you have no clue of what it is he does exactly.

Secretly I have to admit that I am quite taken with cactuses myself. That’s why the bf and I couldn’t resist buying a small case of prickly pears the other day. They were on offer for only € 1. Being a Dutchie, one simply cannot pass on such an offer. Especially when you’ve always wanted to try tasting them. I mean sooner or later you going to have to.

I have never been so certain about a positive outcome tasting this as I have been of anything else.  A short Google session told me the cacti fruit are eaten (in Mexico for example) as a refreshing fruit out of hand. The vibrant fruits are also used as ingredient in candies, drinks, jam and many more things.

After posting the prickly pears on Instagram I got a jam and cocktail suggestion. All kinds of ideas came to me, the inspiration part in my brain almost exploded. Cocktail, jam, smoothie, crystallize, salad. Using it in a crumble came to mind. Everything I had read on the internet thaught me you shouldn’t only have a cactus as a houseplant but also put it in your food repertoire.

First things first. As with all food and cooking you should taste the ingredient you are working with before using it. Always. That way you can decide which ingredients and spices are a good match.

So off I went. Knife. Pear. Bite…

What’s going on here? I don’t understand. Another bite. And another. Another pear. Juicy? Yes. Refreshing? Yes. Bad? No. For some reason and against all expectations it didn’t work for me. No, just… No.

All of my prickly pear visions are gone, shattered, kaput. I am a bit disappointed actually. Reality is that there’s just things you like and don’t like.

The only option left really is going to Mexico for vacation and see/taste how the pro’s roll with cactus fruits. That’s the only hope I have to save my prickly pear urge.

For now I’m sticking with cactuses as a houseplant.


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