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Kara tries new things #1: Prickly Pear

Posted Nov 06 2009 12:00am
 

When I was a really little kid, I ate EVERYTHING.  Seriously.  I was basically an adorable garbage disposal.

Kara BaguetteDee-licious!

When I got a little older (from about age 6-my mid-teens), I did a complete 180 and became a ridiculously picky eater.  I’d probably eat anything if you dipped it in chocolate and/or peanut butter, but I wasn’t open to trying anything new or remotely interesting/”exotic”.  If I hadn’t eaten it before, I wasn’t interested.  The only reason I ever tried fried calamari when I was a kid was because my uncle used my insatiable curiosity against me; he wouldn’t tell me what it was until I had a bite!  After he told me it was squid, I refused to believe him because I liked it so much :)

So, now that I’m basically a grownup and married to the un-pickiest eater around I’ve decided to try new foods as often as possible, or re-try foods I dismissed in the past.  So far this year I’ve discovered an undying love for onions (a food I used to hate!), sweet potatoes, spinach, hummus and pumpkin, among others.  Now I can’t believe I went so long without these foods in my life!

When ordering groceries online this week I came across a new and interesting fruit in the produce section: prickly pear.  According to Wikipedia, the prickly pear isn’t really a pear at all, but the fruit of the cactus plant.  Here’s the full article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prickly_pear .

How to disassemble the prickly pear, in easy photographic steps:

IMG_0757

1. Cut off both ends of the pear, making sure to protect your hands when anchoring it on the cutting board.  Supermarket prickly pears have most of the spines removed, but there’s always a chance there are some smaller ones on the skin, and busting out the tweezers when trying to have a snack is no fun. :(  The internets also suggests soaking the pear in cold water to remove spines before you eat, but I have no idea if that really works.

IMG_0759

2. Put the pear on its side and cut slightly through the skin from top to bottom.

IMG_0761

3. Peel away the skin, revealing the fruity deliciousness below.  This part was really easy; I thought separating the fruit from the skin would involve more manual labor like peeling a kiwi but the skin comes off even easier than an orange peel.

IMG_0763…2 seconds later, TA DA!

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I sliced up the pear and just ate it plain, like so:

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The seeds are edible, but incredibly hard, so don’t try to chew them!  The pear has a similar texture to watermelon a bit mealy, but not in a bad way and is a little bit tart, a little bit sweet.  Frankly, I wasn’t a big fan, but I think I’m going to do some recipe Googling tonight and give it another shot in something tomorrow.  I was thinking it might be nice in a fruit smoothie, but the seeds sort of complicate that…

What’s a new fruit/veggie/food you’ve tried recently?  How did you like it?

Back later with today’s eats!

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