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Cactus for Salad

halcyon1234 Aug 30, 2013 06:43 AM

I'd like to make Cactus Salad for an upcoming Mexican night. Does anyone know where in the GTA (preferably Markham area) I can get edible Cactus?

Is there a special kind I need, or can I just go into a garden center and start eating? =)

  1. f
    foodinspace Aug 30, 2013 07:56 AM

    The cactus that Mexicans eat is called "Nopales." It's a type of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia spp.). I'm not sure how Ontario's native Opuntia compares to those used in Mexico.

    Cans of nopales in vinegar are somewhat common, likely in larger supermarkets that have large Mexican sections. Otherwise, you can head down to Kensington Market. In addition to the cans, I found fresh nopales at Perola's back in the winter.

    1. p
      Pigurd Aug 30, 2013 08:03 AM

      ive only seen it downtown at one of the chinese supermarkets... the one on the same street as the exotic fruit stands... the fresh ones... pretty tasty

      1 Reply
      1. re: Pigurd
        MargieEv Aug 30, 2013 09:04 AM

        I am pretty sure I saw it in the Maple Leag Gardens Loblaws. In the veg/fruit section in the little kiosk thing that has the mushrooms etc.

      2. s
        ssainani Aug 30, 2013 09:37 AM

        While not anywhere near Markham -- and i'm sure other Latin American vendors sell it too -- but the No Frills on Eglinton and Black Creek has cactus pickled in bags/cans in their Latin American aisle

        1. Veggo Aug 30, 2013 09:58 AM

          There's 2 types - the flat green nopales, which may be canned or jarred in strips called rajas, or fresh paddles. The second is the scarlet egg shaped cactus fruit, which is seasonal and only fresh, I think. They have clusters of tiny needle-like prickers which are very annoying, but many stores that sell them already have the prickers buzzed off. A welcome new technology - buzzing cactus fruit!

          1. MissBingBing Aug 30, 2013 10:43 AM

            Nowhere near Markham, but Kensington Market stores sell fresh nopales.

            1. Kagemusha Aug 30, 2013 11:20 AM

              Highland Farms should have 'em. Have also seen them in Loblaws/NoFrills. Say away from the garden centers. Get canned nopales.

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