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May 6, 2008 09:40 PM

cactus in west LA?


does anyone know of a store in west LA where i can buy fresh cactus (in Spanish i think it is called nopales) ? I saw some at the Farmers market but it still had the spikes on it and I don't want (or know how too) deal with that.


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  1. Whole Foods has whole, peeled leaves and also bags of chopped, peeled leaves. It sounds weird calling them leaves, but i dont know what else those things are called.

    4 Replies
      1. re: Servorg

        Botanically the paddles are the stalk, and the needles are the leaves. But paddles is pretty descriptive.

        The needles aren't too difficult to remove: they come off when you peel the cactus.

        I've seen them at the Latino market on Santa Monica at Brockton, next door to Monte Alban. I haven't been in there recently, though, so I don't know if they have them now.

      2. re: carln


        which whole foods did you see it at?

      3. I've seen them at several of the Mexican grocers along Venice Blvd. in the Mar Vista/Palms area. I can't recall the names of the stores but I know the last place I got them was on the south side of Venice.

        Whole Foods has carried them in the past but I see them only intermittently (or maybe I just notice intermittently) and they'll likely be much more expensive. Cruise Venice and see what you find.

        Servorg is correct. They are referred to as paddles and the type of cactus used for nopales dishes is sometimes referred to as paddle cactus.

        1. I periodically see them at farmers markets in the de-needled, skinned, cut up state. They're in bags and they're usually pretty cheap. I've seen them at the saturday santa monica (cloverfield/pico) market, for example.

          3 Replies
          1. re: glutton

            Ooo. . . That would be nice. I hate trimming the needles off.

            1. re: Frommtron

              WF westwood also carries them. They are easy to de-needle using a vegetable peeler.