Prickly Pear

The "Prickly Pear" is not a pear but the fruit of the cactus Opuntia ficus-indica which is very common in the Mediterranean. Its origin is from Mexico though. You can eat it with its stones, and I was told in Morocco by a Berber that it helps when suffering from diarrhea. But I never confirmed that. He also told me that when I get bitten by a scorpion, I have to catch the animal, burn it and scratch the bite with its ashes. This advise also puts the diarrhea treatment into perspective. Back to the Prickly Pear, be aware of the little thorns on the fruit when you pick and peel it. They will stick in your fingers for quite a while, and they will break if you try to remove them. You can also make a jam from the fruit or even distill it to a spirit. Now in Malta, the cactus starts blossoming, which is a very nice sight. I enjoy every flower these days, because soon the island will get very dry and hot.