Adventures with Prickly Pears


While ordering to-go kabobs for my family at International Market, I spied a box full of garnet-colored prickly pears and couldn’t resist buying some. I’ve never cooked with this lovely fruit, but after some research I managed (aided by the local website Simply Recipes – see to juice the prickly pears without impaling myself with the fruits’ teeny hairlike spines (called glochids). The juice was a brilliant, deep pink color, and the taste – according to my 8 year old – was “kind of like a combination of pomegranate, strawberries and watermelon.” I’d have to agree with her assessment.

We mixed our prickly pear juice with freshly-squeezed orange juice, and the result was delicious. Next time, I’ll incorporate the juice into a cocktail or pretty fruit sauce – or maybe get ambitious and whip up a shocking pink, icy granita for a special dinner party.

International Market: 1345 Fulton Avenue, Sacramento, (916) 487-0101