PRICKLY PEARS ET AL

I promise to pop in later today and give you a nice juicy lettering love post, but I felt yesterdays prickly pear experience trumped anything that I could have written this morning.  Let me start out by saying I am brave in many, many facets of my life but not when it comes to food.  I eat what I know and I don't stray from this formula.  I don't eat anything smarter than a dog, in case you were wondering, bacon has not touched these lips for about 30+ years.  There are many things I won't eat, so yesterday when I was presented with a beautiful ruby red drink made with something called a 'prickly pear', simple syrup, a twist of lemon and fresh seltzer I was a bit apprehensive before I would partake.  I had to ask how many ounces the glass was and to what ratio the simple syrup was, (hey I am sensitive to sugar) and then I tentatively asked about the fruit/vegetable that was in it. It could have been a beet as it was deep, dark and jewel toned--I don't like beets.  I was assured it was not a beet, but a Mexican fruit and I was shown the evidence of whence it came from.  Did I mention I am not brave when it comes to new foods?  I was with my husband and his friend had laboriously muddled the Mexican Fruit (prickly pear) to create this custom non-cocktail for moi. I knew that refusing the drink would not be an option, so I closed my eyes and took a sip.  It was so good!  I was soon taking another gulp, the fruit had an almost light watermelon like flavor that meshed so well with the citrus, it was a holiday in a glass, I was transported to sandy beaches with aqua waters.  My taste buds did a double take and tried hard to recollect what this might be comparable to, but came up empty.  It was like a juicy flavor bomb had exploded in my mouth. Have any of you tried this before?  For those that haven't, let me forewarn you that it's not a pear, nor is it particularly prickly.  It grows on a cactus and as you can see from photographer/editor Todd Coleman's beautiful image above, they come in multiple varieties.  This little innocuous fruit made me want to  hop on a plane to Mexico to partake in its glorious variations and all the culinary combinations possible.  I doubt I will become more gastroly adventurous in the future, I am a bit set in my ways, but for today I am happy that I was backed into a culinary corner and tried something new.  You?  Have you tried any new foods lately?  Are you a food coward like me or will you be willing to try anything? Inquiring minds (mine) would like to know...

Petya (September 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM)  

I'm a great food adventurer - I love to try different foods and always get the local things when I travel, but I must admit that I refused to try water infused with common balm the other day

Kelsey @ Pinegate Road (September 27, 2012 at 2:03 PM)  

Ooh, how funny! I'm quite the food adventurer and will actually choose foods based on the fact that I haven't tried them and want to get to know them a little better — last year the prickly pear was one of them, as I came across them in a local grocery store. It took about 3 youtube videos for me to actually dive in, chop one up, and not get stabbed, but it was well worth it. This post reminds me that I need to try them again, and possibly try to re-create that lovely drink you describe! Too good!

Miss B. (September 27, 2012 at 2:17 PM)  

Petya, that's funny that you can be adventurous fruit but infused water was a no way, hah! I like infusing my water with cucumber + mint, it makes me believe my life is more spa like than it actually is.

Kelsey that is SUPER adventurous, I doubt I would have ever considered picking this up on my own at the grocery, but so smart to consider You Tube to figure it out!

Christine (September 27, 2012 at 3:25 PM)  

Good for you for being adventurous! Too bad you didn't know about this drink when you lived in LA, since a lot of these cacti inhabit the urban landscape and the fruits are often free. Most people don't know what to do with them. Here's a link on how to use them: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_cut_and_prepare_prickly_pears/

Souvenir Foto School (October 1, 2012 at 5:05 PM)  

Thank you Christine! I miss citrus trees too! I used to go outside and pick lemons from our neighbors tree and not think twice about it!

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Miss B.