Week 27 Cactus Paddles/Nopales

Now we are stepping into some dangerous turf right here aren’t we? I have a list that I made at the start of this year so I wouldn’t forget anything I wanted to try and honestly, these weren’t on there. It was just by chance perusal at the Asian grocery that I found these, which isn’t where I expected to find them. Even better I got about 3 or 4 per package for about $1.50 which is pretty good in terms of exotic produce.

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I won’t lie that I left these in the fridge for a bit longer than I meant to and I think they were about to take the next turn to Trashville. When shopping for these, if you are able to, you want some that are flexible but not floppy. Some places actually sell them already dethorned and chopped up for your convenience, but I feel you wouldn’t appreciate the full experience of a cactus paddle if purchased already broken down.

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I have mostly seen these described as being like a green bean when cooked and I’m not sure if that refers to taste or appearance but I guess we’ll get to find out soon enough. People like to put cooked nopales in their scrambled eggs, on tacos and just mixed in with other side dishes from what I can tell so it can be used in a fairly versatile manner.

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I will be completely honest with you, dear reader(s), I am slightly intimidated by these which is why they remained in the fridge for so long. I hate needles and splinters and anything that might delicately pierce my skin so I have been handling the wrapped up packages gingerly just in case a thorn pierces the wrap and sticks me. Most people recommend wearing gloves so I may have to go at this with equipment on had, but we shall see. Get your safety goggles on and find some nopales and we’ll meet back here on Tuesday.

Author: Olivia O.

East Tennessee native with an interest in food and trying new things.

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