Saturday, July 18, 2009

...I Am So Not Eating This Thing...

I mentioned during my Ode to Doritos that I have been trying to explore new foods, mostly exotic fruits.

I just stroll on over to that side of the produce section and pick something that looks interesting.
So far it’s been pretty okay. I’ve tried things that were completely new to me like the tamarillo (awesome), kiwanos (pretty good), and pluots (loved these!). And I’ve tried some things that were necessarily new but maybe I never had a “fresh” one before like mango, papaya and passion fruit.

On Friday, I picked up an interesting purple potato looking thing. 

It had these flat, caramel looking ends to them and little stalks peaking out the other side. They’re seemed to be a hint of pink interior or maybe just the juice is pink. They smelled okay, felt fine, but I honestly had not a clue what it was. “I’ll just try one” I thought. Bagged it and carried on with my shopping.

I tried looking it up at the self check out lane and couldn’t find anything that looked like it so I had to ask for help. Between three salespeople we were able to determine that it was a “prickly pear fruit” or “cactus pears"

Have you heard of this fruit before? If you have, you’re probably laughing at me by now.

Like all the experimental fruits before it, I looked it up online to see what to expect, how best to eat it or prepare it for another dish. It sounded deliciously sweet… at first.

Turns out this thing is like the freakin’ Fugu of the fruit world~

It won’t exactly kill me if I eat it wrong, but it will still get on my last nerve if I don’t handle it right.

Prickly pears have gochlids or little, practically microscopic spindly thingies on them. If they get on your skin, you’ll be itching for days and since they’re nearly impossible to see they’re nearly impossible to remove. It was suggested on multiple sites that you prepare them only with large tongs and with thick gloves on.

Who the heck wants to eat something you can’t even really touch?

On top of that, if you peel it wrong the gochlids move onto the flesh of the fruit, so you’ll get sick or at least have some pretty severe tongue, mouth and throat irritation.

Mmmm, no.

Fare thee well, cactus pear… we hardly knew ye.

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