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Prickly Pear, also known as the Sabra or Cactus Fig is a cactus fruit native to Egypt and surrounding countries in North Africa. The seasonality of this fruit can vary depending on the region, but it is typically available from late spring to early autumn.
We also source this fruit from Colombia. In general, the flavours are not much different however the colombian fruits are slightly bigger.
To determine if a Prickly Pear is ripe, it should be slightly soft to the touch and have a slightly wrinkled skin. To store the fruit, it should be kept at room temperature until it is fully ripe, then can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
We advise handling this fruit with caution, as it grows on a cactus plant, the base of the fruit sometimes contains tiny needles which can cause minor splinters. They are relatively harmless.
The Prickly Pear, is known for its sweet and juicy flavour. To eat as a snack, simply cut off the skin and enjoy the sweet flesh on its own or in a fruit salad. The small seeds can be eaten. Its flesh can also be blended or juiced to make nutritious drinks such as sweet and tangy juices or smoothies. In the kitchen, the Egyptian Prickly Pear is often used in desserts like cakes, tarts, and sorbets, either as a topping or filling, or made into a sweet syrup to drizzle over treats. Its natural sweetness makes it a popular choice for sweet dishes.
In terms of health benefits, Egyptian Prickly Pear is a good source of dietary fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins C and K. It has also been used traditionally to help manage diabetes and lower blood pressure. However, it's important to note that more research is needed to confirm these potential health benefits.