The Prickly Pear Revisted


I decided to buy a few more prickly pear fruit from my local Stop and Shop because I thought they would be fun to juice (see post below). As mentioned in a blog post from earlier in the week, “The external skin of the Prickly Pear is often covered in prickly nobs called glochids (hence the name) and must be removed before ingesting. Most (if not all) Prickly Pears I have ever seen in the markets were glochid-free… including this specimen.”

Well, it seems that these particular pears were not cleaned quite as well as the one I purchased at Russo’s. I was handling them (without protection) when I realized that I clearly got some of the little (hair-like) spines in my finger. If you have ever walked into the stinging nettle bush, you would understand exactly what this feels like. They are so tiny that you can barely see them and I would be super impressed if you could grab them with tweezers. I could not. It sucked… however, it only lasted about an hour and then must have worked it’s way out.

I tried to capture what to watch for with my camera. I did a pretty good job… but there were only a few on the fruit. Keep in mind, it only takes ONE to have an annoying little thorn stinging you every time you put pressure on it.

In this image, you can see one tiny spine sticking out of the glochid (it’s on the bottom left of the bump and is lighter in color).

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This is a much better shot… and is the bottom of the fruit. Note these little buggers. I happened to get mine stuck between my fingers. Listen to the experts (unlike me) and handle these with a paper towel or some other type of protection before you skin them!

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