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Established in 1958 / 20+ different markets / 8 nationalities working in Polproduct

Prickly Pear

Origin(s)Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Various
VarietyVarious
CultivationCultivated, Wild
Possible certificationHalal, Kosher, Organic
Organic avilabilityYes
IQF AvailabilityUncalibrated class 1
IQF Packaging10kg carton, 20kg bag, 4x2,5kg carton, 5x1 kg carton
Puree availabilityAseptic, Frozen
Packaging aseptic10kg Bag-in-Box, 200kg Drum, 20kg Bag-in-Box, 2x5 kg Bag-in-Box
Packaging frozen10kg Plastic pail, 180kg Drum, 18kg Wax carton
Sieve size for puree0,3 mm - 0,8 mm, 1,0 mm - 5,0 mm
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General description

Prickly pear

Opuntia, commonly called prickly pear, is a genus of flowering plants in the cactus family Cactaceae. Prickly pears are also known as tuna (fruit), sabra, nopal (paddle, plural nopales) from the Nahuatl word nōpalli for the pads, or nostle, from the Nahuatl word nōchtli for the fruit; or paddle cactus. The genus is named for the Ancient Greek city of Opus, where, according to Theophrastus, an edible plant grew and could be propagated by rooting its leaves. The most common culinary species is the Indian fig opuntia (O. ficus-indica).

The fruit of prickly pears, commonly called cactus fruit, cactus fig, Indian fig, nopales[15] or tuna in Spanish,[16] is edible, although it must be peeled carefully to remove the small spines on the outer skin before consumption. If the outer layer is not properly removed, glochids can be ingested, causing discomfort of the throat, lips, and tongue, as the small spines are easily lodged in the skin. Native Americans like the Tequesta would roll the fruit around in a suitable medium (e.g. grit) to “sand” off the glochids. Alternatively, rotating the fruit in the flame of a campfire or torch has been used to remove the glochids. Today, parthenocarpic (seedless) cultivars are also available.

In Mexico, prickly pears are often used to make appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, vegetable dishes, breads, desserts, beverages, candy, jelly, and drinks. The young stem segments, usually called pads or nopales, are also edible in most species of Opuntia. They are commonly used in Mexican cuisine in dishes such as huevos con nopales (eggs with nopal), or tacos de nopales. Nopales are also an important ingredient in New Mexican cuisine. In 2009 it was introduced as a cheaper alternative to corn for the production of tortillas and other corn products.[20]

Opuntia ficus-indica has been introduced to Europe, and flourishes in areas with a suitable climate, such as the south of France and southern Italy: In Sicily, they are referred to as fichi d’India (Italian literal translation of Indian fig) or ficurinia (Sicilian dialect literal translation of Indian fig). In Sardinia, they are called figumorisca – Moorish figs). They can be found also in the Struma River in Bulgaria, in southern Portugal and Madeira (where they are called tabaibo, figo tuno, or “Indian figs”), in Andalusia, Spain (where they are known as higos chumbos). In Greece, it grows in such places as the Peloponnese region, Ionian Islands, or Crete, and its figs are known as frangosyka (Frankish, i.e. Western European, figs) or pavlosyka (Paul’s figs), depending on the region. In Albania, they are called fiq deti translated as ‘sea figs’, and are present in the south-west shore. The figs are also grown in Cyprus, where they are known as papoutsósyka or babutsa (shoe figs).

The prickly pear also grows widely on the islands of Malta, where it is enjoyed by the Maltese as a typical summer fruit (known as bajtar tax-xewk, literally ‘spiny figs’), as well as being used to make the popular liqueur known as bajtra. The prickly pear is so commonly found in the Maltese islands, it is often used as a dividing wall between many of Malta’s characteristic terraced fields in place of the usual rubble walls.

The prickly pear was introduced to Eritrea during the period of Italian colonisation between 1890 and 1940. It is locally known there as beles and is abundant during the late summer and early autumn (late July through September). The beles from the holy monastery of Debre Bizen is said to be particularly sweet and juicy. In Libya, it is a popular summer fruit and called by the locals Hindi, which literally means Indian.

In Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other parts of the Middle East, prickly pears of the yellow and orange varieties are grown by the side of farms, beside railway tracks and other otherwise noncultivable land. It is sold in summer by street vendors, and is considered a refreshing fruit for that season.

Source: Wikipedia


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