Monday, January 11, 2016

Babutsa. One of its names that I come across is ‘Opuntia’ also the name of its genus, which was supposedly named for the Ancient Greek city of Opus, where, according to Theophrastus, an edible plant grew which could be propagated by rooting its leaves. It’s from the Cactaceae family and the commonly edible ones also have the name ‘prickly pear’ and ‘indian fig’ while we call it ‘babutsa’ in Cyprus. It’s neither a pick nor a pear and probably it doesn’t have an Indian passport :) If you wonder why ‘prickly’, look closer, very carefully. The type we have in Cyprus have difficult to see tiny needles as well as large prickles that lead you to think ‘i see and know what i’m doing!’ until you have those little ones in the most inconvenient parts of your hand you are looking up toward the sun with your hand in front of you, to figure out a way to see the tiny prickles. Those black dots you see on the two fruits have multiple prickles on each. I have seen people nailing a coke can at the tip of a long stick with the can’s upper part cut open, so they can scoop out the prickly fruits once they are ripe. I heard people just wearing chips packages as gloves when peeling these. You’ll have to watch my dad to see how easily you can prepare them, or just watch a street vendor in the old town during the hottest time of the summer. They are really refreshing when eaten chilled in ice. Well, it’s is said too much of it might cause constipation. I never tested this notion to its limits :) I refrain myself to 4-5 in one sitting. I also heard the big leaves are cooked as soup, but never had a chance to taste it. Anyone know the recipe? #plant #fruit #cactus #cactaceae #pricklypear #indianfig #babutsa #plants #greenandblue #blueandgreen #nomadinca #incagraphy

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