The prickly pear is a fruit. It grows on the Opuntia cacti, commonly known as the prickly pear cactus. The fruit, also known as a “tuna” in Spanish, is distinct from the nopales, which are the cactus pads. Prickly pears come in various colors, including green, yellow, red, and purple, depending on their maturity and variety. This is the red one:
They have a sweet, sometimes watermelon-like flavor and are often eaten raw, made into jellies and jams, or used in beverages like juices and cocktails.
The skin is thick and spiky, requiring careful peeling to access the edible flesh inside, which contains small, hard seeds.