Nopal

nopalesnopal cactusLa Nopaleranopal cactuses
Nopal (from the Nahuatl word nohpalli for the pads of the plant) is a common name in Spanish for Opuntia cacti (commonly referred to in English as prickly pear), as well as for its pads.wikipedia
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Opuntia

prickly pearprickly pear cactusprickly pears
Nopal (from the Nahuatl word nohpalli for the pads of the plant) is a common name in Spanish for Opuntia cacti (commonly referred to in English as prickly pear), as well as for its pads. Farmed nopales are most often of the species Opuntia ficus-indica or Opuntia matudae although the pads of almost all Opuntia species are edible.
Prickly pears are also known as tuna (fruit), sabra, nopal (paddle, plural nopales) from the Nahuatl word nōpalli for the pads, or nostle, from the Nahuatl word nōchtli for the fruit; or paddle cactus.

Opuntia ficus-indica

prickly pearBarbary figIndian fig
Farmed nopales are most often of the species Opuntia ficus-indica or Opuntia matudae although the pads of almost all Opuntia species are edible.
In Mexican Spanish, the plant is called nopal, while the fruit is called tuna, names that may be used in American English as culinary terms.

Mexican cuisine

MexicanMexican foodMexico
There are approximately one hundred and fourteen known species endemic to Mexico, where the plant is a common ingredient in numerous Mexican cuisine dishes. Nopales are most commonly used in Mexican cuisine in dishes such as huevos con nopales "eggs with nopal", carne con nopales "meat with nopal", tacos de nopales, in salads with tomato, onion, and queso panela (panela cheese), or simply on their own as a side vegetable.
Common vegetables include zucchini, cauliflower, corn, potatoes, spinach, Swiss chard, mushrooms, jitomate (red tomato), green tomato, etc. Other traditional vegetable ingredients include Chili pepper, huitlacoche (corn fungus), huauzontle, and nopal (cactus pads) to name a few.

Queso panela

panelapanela cheese
Nopales are most commonly used in Mexican cuisine in dishes such as huevos con nopales "eggs with nopal", carne con nopales "meat with nopal", tacos de nopales, in salads with tomato, onion, and queso panela (panela cheese), or simply on their own as a side vegetable.
It is served most often as part of appetizer dishes such as nopal salads or quesadillas.

Cochineal

Dactylopius coccusbow dyeCoccus cacti
After that, approximately 57,000 ha are used to produce prickly pear fruit, 10,500 ha for the pads production, and 100 ha to cochineal production.
A nopal cactus farm for the production of cochineal is traditionally known as a nopalry.

Cactoblastis cactorum

cactoblastis mothcactus mothcactoblastis
Detection of the cactus-eating moth Cactoblastis cactorum in Mexico in 2006 caused anxiety among the country's phytosanitary authorities, as this insect can be potentially devastating for the cactus industry.
In Mexico, Opuntia is a vital plant; its fruit and clacode (nopal) are a staple food, chopped cacti are used to sustain cattle in times of drought, and some Opuntia species support the cochineal dye industry.

Nopaltilla

* Nopaltilla
The word nopaltilla is a portmanteau of "nopal", which is Spanish for Prickly Pear Cactus, and tortilla, and thus refers to a tortilla made with both corn and cactus.

Nahuatl

Nahuatl languageNáhuatlNahua
Nopal (from the Nahuatl word nohpalli for the pads of the plant) is a common name in Spanish for Opuntia cacti (commonly referred to in English as prickly pear), as well as for its pads.

Plant stem

stemstemsinternode
Nopal (from the Nahuatl word nohpalli for the pads of the plant) is a common name in Spanish for Opuntia cacti (commonly referred to in English as prickly pear), as well as for its pads.

Spanish language

SpanishSpanish-languageCastilian
Nopal (from the Nahuatl word nohpalli for the pads of the plant) is a common name in Spanish for Opuntia cacti (commonly referred to in English as prickly pear), as well as for its pads.

Traditional medicine

folk medicinefolk remedyfolk remedies
The nopal pads can be eaten raw or cooked, used in marmalades, soups, stews and salads, as well as being used for traditional medicine or as fodder for animals.

Opuntia matudae

Farmed nopales are most often of the species Opuntia ficus-indica or Opuntia matudae although the pads of almost all Opuntia species are edible.

Canning

cannerycannedcanned food
They can also be found canned or bottled, and less often dried, especially for export.

Food drying

dryingdrieddehydrated
They can also be found canned or bottled, and less often dried, especially for export.

Green bean

green beansFrench beanstring bean
Cut into slices or diced into cubes, nopales have a light, slightly tart flavor, like green beans, and a crisp, mucilaginous texture.

Mucilage

mucilaginousmucilagesmucilaginous coating
Cut into slices or diced into cubes, nopales have a light, slightly tart flavor, like green beans, and a crisp, mucilaginous texture.

Spring (season)

springspringtimespring season
They are at their most tender and juicy in the spring.

Egg as food

eggseggchicken egg
Nopales are most commonly used in Mexican cuisine in dishes such as huevos con nopales "eggs with nopal", carne con nopales "meat with nopal", tacos de nopales, in salads with tomato, onion, and queso panela (panela cheese), or simply on their own as a side vegetable.

Taco

tacosfish tacofish tacos
Nopales are most commonly used in Mexican cuisine in dishes such as huevos con nopales "eggs with nopal", carne con nopales "meat with nopal", tacos de nopales, in salads with tomato, onion, and queso panela (panela cheese), or simply on their own as a side vegetable.

New Mexican cuisine

New MexicancuisineCuisine of New Mexico
Nopales have also grown to be an important ingredient in New Mexican cuisine and in Tejano culture of Texas.

Tejano

TejanosTejanaList of Notable Tejanos
Nopales have also grown to be an important ingredient in New Mexican cuisine and in Tejano culture of Texas.

Texas

TXTexanState of Texas
Nopales have also grown to be an important ingredient in New Mexican cuisine and in Tejano culture of Texas.

Cup (unit)

cupcupsUS cup
Per US cup serving, nopal fruit is an excellent source of the dietary mineral manganese (20% of the Daily Value, DV) and a good source of vitamin C (13% DV), magnesium (11% DV) and calcium (14% DV), with nutrient content improving as the plant matures.

Mineral (nutrient)

mineralsdietary mineralsdietary mineral
Per US cup serving, nopal fruit is an excellent source of the dietary mineral manganese (20% of the Daily Value, DV) and a good source of vitamin C (13% DV), magnesium (11% DV) and calcium (14% DV), with nutrient content improving as the plant matures.

Manganese

Mnmanganese oreMn 2+
Per US cup serving, nopal fruit is an excellent source of the dietary mineral manganese (20% of the Daily Value, DV) and a good source of vitamin C (13% DV), magnesium (11% DV) and calcium (14% DV), with nutrient content improving as the plant matures.