We Call It: Cactus Pear

The fruit of the cactus plant has a number of different names. Perhaps you have heard it called cactus fruit or cactus pear, tuna or Indian figs. The most widely used name for the very best fruit is the one that has the Andy Boy name in it first.

No newcomer to the world.

Scientists discovered seeds of cactus fruits 12,000 years ago in caves in Mexico and have suggested it was one of the first domesticated plants. On one of the first or second voyages of Christopher Columbus, he returned to Spain with cactus. Europeans were very intrigued by this strange looking plant and cactus pears quickly spread through southern Europe and were common in royal gardens in Italy by the mid 1500’s. When the last Moors were expelled from Spain in 1610, they took cactus with them to all parts of North Africa. The most extensive cactus pear production in Europe is in Sicily, from where D’Arrigo Bros founders, Andrea and Stefano D’Arrigo, emigrated and where there are close to 10,000 acres.

Southwestern Exposure

How do you eat an Andy Boy Cactus Pear? Use a small sharp knife and slice off each end and make a single slice from top to bottom. That’s all you need to do with an Andy Boy Cactus Pear to peel back the thick purple-red skin to reveal the luscious fruit. Andy Boy Cactus Pear is the fruit of the cactus plant. Yes, the one from all those westerns on cable television. It’s flaming fuchsia color is stunning. The small seeds inside are edible. Cactus Pear has a vibrant sweet taste that is great mixed with meat, salsas, in fruit salads and scrumptious desserts.

“Safe” Cactus Pears

Unlike other brands of cactus pears, Andy Boy Cactus Pears undergo a unique cleaning process that removes a vast majority of the plants tiny prickers. The result is a smooth, safe surface. No sticks or slivers. So it’s easier to enjoy the delicious and healthy fruit of the cactus. Check the label to be sure you’re buying Andy Boy Cactus Pears.

Old and New-Fangled Cocktails

Indians used the juice of the cactus pear to make fermented drinks such as colonche wine and brandy. Today, bartenders are dreaming up all sorts of fun new mixology ways to use prickly pear in their signature libations. Cactus Pear martinis, cactus pear mimosas, cactus pear margaritas, and cactus pear daiquiris are just a few of the joyously cool cocktails you can mix up and use to impress your friends.