Prickly Pear or Barbary Fig - a tree like cactus

 The Prickly Pear or Barbary Fig is a tree like cactus that is widely grown for its edible "tuna" fruits in semi-arid regions around the world.  The images in this post come from central Spain in the Extremadura region.
 The tasty yet somewhat seedy fruits of this tree-cactus are a bit of a challenge to pick since both the leaves and fruits are covered with both pointy, thorny spikes and small, fine prickly "hairs".  If you don´t what to get a hand full of these bothersome barbs you had better come prepared.  A thick set of gloves with wrist protectors is one way to go about picking them.  Then comes the challenge of riding the fruit of their thorns and hairs.  One way to go about it is to place several dozen in a gunny sack, get them wet and then agitate the sack for 5-10 minutes.  This can be done by hanging the sack from a branch or bean and then rocking the sack back and forth with your hand.  In this way the fruits end of cleaning each others prickles off.
 To eat the fruit one has to first peel back the skin.  One way that I like to do this is to slice off both ends, make a cut down one side and then peel the rest off starting from the cut and removing the rest of the peel in one piece leaving the tasty interior ready to be eaten as is.

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