Photo: http://juliekinnear.com/blogs/st-lawrence-market

Today I took a trip to the St. Lawrence market. I went there because it is the closest market to where I live and I love going there. I love exploring the market there’s loads of little shops to look at. Anytime I go there I have a sense of passion whether it is just exploring the market or figuring out what I want to make that night for dinner. I went to look for fruit most of the fruits they had at the market I have tried until I found Cactus Pear also known as a Prickly Pear.

Origin:

Photo: http://www.tipdisease.com/2015/05/prickly-pear-cactus-opuntia-ficus.html

The prickly pear is also known as ‘Opuntia’ it is a part of the cactus family. It Originated in the south American country of Mexico and was originally imported from the Americas in the sixteenth century. the Opuntia cactus has been in existence in Morocco for more than four centuries. It grows on islands with temperate climates. This cactus is a very invasive plant making it dangerous for humans and animals.

This is also something that I found very interesting,  The prickly pear seed oil is now recognized for its anti-ageing properties and although it is still early days in the industry, many cosmetic companies are showing a strong interest in this precious oil. It is also used for acne, the oil is said to trick your body into thinking that it doesn’t need to create any more oil reducing acne. The prickly pears I purchased at the market were 1.99 each. The prickly pear ripens in the late summer and early fall.

Sensory Evaluation:

it has a slightly sweet and watery taste with a hint of umame, it smells sweet, it looks almost pinkish reddish on the inside outside is like a bright red, there is a lot of seeds on the inside making it hard to eat. The oil that comes out of the fruit stains easily. ITs a very subtle and tasty fruit. It tastes almost like a watermelon with a lot of extra seeds.

Cooking with The Prickly Pear:

The prickly pear can be made into a simple syrup. This syrup is made by simmering boiled, mashed, and strained prickly pear fruit in sugar. Lemon is added for tartness. Use this syrup on pancakes, on top of other fruit, or in any dessert recipe that calls for syrup. When you look for prickly pears, remember that mature ones are a darker green or blackish purple. Ripe fruits tend to be redder at the base.

Photo: http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/prickly-pear-recipes

Can be used to make Prickly Pear Sorbet. For an elegant yet easy-to-make dessert, try this light sorbet. All you’ll need is an ice cream machine, prickly pears, sugar, lemon juice, and salt.

Photo: http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/prickly-pear-recipes

It can also be used to make a smooth. Make your morning smoothie pretty in pink with prickly pears. The pears combine well with coconut water to make a refreshing drink.

Photo: http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/prickly-pear-recipes

From this experience, I have learned a lot about the prickly pear I did not already know. I found a way to get rid of some unwanted acne along with an oil used for anti-aging. Some ways it can be used for cooking along with other uses. I will be using the fruits to make my morning smoothes now.

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