Good tasting Cacti

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TheORKINMan
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:17 pm
Location: Florida

Good tasting Cacti

Post by TheORKINMan »

I've been working on my growing from seed/buying plants collection of cacti with the hope of having some home grown fruit/nopales etc... in the future. Here's the list of what I've been able to accumulate so far:

Prickly Pears:
O. ficus-indica, O. Engelmanii, O. strigil, O. dulcis. Are there other species you are aware of that actually produce good quality fruit for eating?

Dragonfruit:
H. undatus - Common red dragon fruit found in grocery stores, any others?

Peruvian Apple Cactus:
C. repandus peruvianus

Echinocereus:
Only one I have here is E. engelmanii, the Strawberry Hedgehog which is reported to have good tasting fruit. This is such a large genus though that its impossible to guess which are good or not.

Stenocereus:
There are a lot here. S. thurberi, S. griseus, S. fricii, S. pruinosus are all reported to have good tasting fruit

Corryocactus brevistylus - Guacalla reportedly eaten by locals in Peru

Cylindropuntia imbracata - Cholla supposedly has good tasting fruit, I've seen these in SoCal but never picked one

Carnegeia gigantea - Saguaro - I have two of these but I'll probably be dead before I ever get to taste a fruit from one although they are reported to be good :D

Echinocactus platycantha - Giant barrel cactus. The flesh of these used to be made into a cactus candy called Biznaga in Mexico before the practice was banned when they became endangered there. I'm growing a few with the aim of trying to make this someday

Copao:
Eulychnia has several species referred to as Copao whos fruits are eaten. E. acida, E. breviflora, and E. castanea are all eaten

Prickly Apples:
Harissia also has several species that reportedly produce good fruit. H. fragrans, H. simpsonii, H. bonplandi, and H. tetracantha are the specific species I could find

Mammillaria:
Another gigantic genus. M. diocia is referred to as the Strawberry Cactus due to the taste of its fruit but I've not found anything concrete about other species so far.

Polaskia chichipe - Known as Chichipe with fruit eaten by locals.

Pachycereus pringlei - Fruits supposedly taste like molasses and are made into a drink

Myrtillocactus geometrizans - Blue Candle Cactus. Fruits are known as garumbullo and are sold/eaten. Not sure about other species in this genus.

Ferocactus:
Ferocactus pilosus - Another oddball where the flowers are sometimes eaten in Mexico as part of a dessert. Not sure about other Ferocactus species.

Would love to hear any other species of any genus you are aware of that are used/collected for culinary use!
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BryanT
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue May 25, 2021 9:53 am
Location: Vic, AUS

Re: Good tasting Cacti

Post by BryanT »

TheORKINMan wrote: Sun Jun 26, 2022 6:45 pm Dragonfruit:
H. undatus - Common red dragon fruit found in grocery stores, any others?
Other main species of Dragonfruits:
Hylocereus polyrhizus
Hylocereus guatemalensis
Selenicereus megalanthus, synonym Hylocereus megalanthus

Then, there are many other hybrids.
Have a look at this website:
https://www.tropicalfruitnursery.com/va ... eference-2
Bryan
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greenknight
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Location: SW Washington State zone 8b

Re: Good tasting Cacti

Post by greenknight »

Mammillaria prolifera fruits are said to be very tasty, though I haven't tried them.
Spence :mrgreen:
TheORKINMan
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:17 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Good tasting Cacti

Post by TheORKINMan »

BryanT wrote: Sun Jun 26, 2022 10:37 pm
TheORKINMan wrote: Sun Jun 26, 2022 6:45 pm Dragonfruit:
H. undatus - Common red dragon fruit found in grocery stores, any others?
Other main species of Dragonfruits:
Hylocereus polyrhizus
Hylocereus guatemalensis
Selenicereus megalanthus, synonym Hylocereus megalanthus

Then, there are many other hybrids.
Have a look at this website:
https://www.tropicalfruitnursery.com/va ... eference-2
Thank for this! I wasn't sure if other Hylocereus also tasted good or if it was like Passiflora where you have to get very specific cultivars
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MrXeric
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:31 pm
Location: California, USDA zone 10a

Re: Good tasting Cacti

Post by MrXeric »

Barbados Gooseberry (Pereskia aculeata)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pereskia_aculeata
Not only are the fruits eaten, but apparently young shoots of this cactus are eaten as a vegetable in certain parts of Brazil.

Achakana/achacana (Neowerdermannia vorwerkii)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA0FRSRIR58
Traditionally eaten by the indigenous peoples of Argentina and Bolivia as a potato-like vegetable. Unfortunately, the auto-generated English subtitles for this video aren't very good, but you can see how they harvest the cactus, prepare by boiling it overnight, remove spines and epidermis, and make a stew out of it (with llama jerky if I heard correctly). Since the whole plant, roots and all, are consumed, this one may not be the best to cultivate for eating since I believe Neowerdermannia are slow growers.
nes
Posts: 139
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:46 pm
Location: Zone 10b

Re: Good tasting Cacti

Post by nes »

A thread I didn't know I needed. Definitely saving this for when I get more space to grow these larger species.
The only cacti I've tasted is the standard Ficus-Indica used to make "nopales"
Funny that growing up I always hated it when my mom made nopales and only ate the beans she made for the side. Who would've thought that my adamantness towards cacti/eating cacti became a cacti obsession
Look forward to seeing more on this.
As for my contribution, though not a cactus, you can also make a very sweet sugary candy using agave tequiliana. It's been a long time since I've had it in Mexico, made by my grandma so I couldn't tell you how it is made. However, I occasionally see it at my local Mexican supermarkets, and I always by a little baggie. It's basically like chewing sugar cane.
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