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Old 06-23-2011, 01:13 PM   #1
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Default Prickly pear

I keep hearing people rave about Papazian's prickly pear mead. The few times I have had mead it I 'v enjoyed it quite a bit, so I'm going to give Papazian's recipe a try. But I cannot find prickly pear. Where dose one find 3lbs of prickly pear and not go broke in the progress?

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Old 06-23-2011, 05:32 PM   #2
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Find a mexican grocery store.

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Old 06-23-2011, 07:32 PM   #3
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See my thread here - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/fruit-trade-181550/

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Old 06-23-2011, 08:50 PM   #4
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They arent in season (at least here in Texas) till August -Sept

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Old 06-23-2011, 11:40 PM   #5
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They can be found at one of my supermarkets right now!
Speaking of, I put a bottle in the fridge last night! A bud is dropping by and we are going to taste four different meads that be have bottled up! Home brew sample night at my place!

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Old 06-24-2011, 03:02 AM   #6
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The ones I see in supermarkets are green. The ones I pick are crimson/maroon in color once they're ripe. I used up all of mine frozen from last year in this recipe a few weeks ago. -
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/pric...-cyser-242217/

I changed it up and added 1/2 gallon of prickly pear juice in mine though.

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Old 06-24-2011, 05:50 AM   #7
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Saying that they are "green" is not necessarily accurate. Even on prickly pears that you gather from the desert, there are different varieties. If you are shopping in a Hispanic (Mexican) grocer you will seem them called "Tuna". More specifically: "Tuna Roja" and "Tuna Verde" ... ie red tuna and green tuna. The green tuna, to me, tastes more like a true pear. It has a slightly off taste compared to a pear, but it is similar enough to a pear flavor that I understand why it got called a "prickly pear". The red variety is, however, probably the flavor you are looking for. It is distinct and like nothing I've ever tasted. Gamey watermelon is the best description I could possibly have. It's a decidedly "wild" flavor.

Locally I found a woman that would pick what ever was in her front yard for $5 a 5 gallon bucket. I picked up 3 or 4 of them, and juiced them. The red color made my back patio look like a set of Dexter - there was so much red juice and pulp flying around that it stained the patio concrete. I still have 3 or so gallons of juice frozen ... I'm thinking of making a prickly pear skeeter pee. The mead I made is aging - and I don't want to devote another batch of honey to something if I don't like it (or want to alter the recipe).

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Old 06-24-2011, 07:01 AM   #8
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I started one this September 2010. Started with about 2.5gallons of pears (~60)


They were small ones... I picked off the cacti in front of the homebrew store..
I had a whole 7gallon bucket full, but only used about a 1/3 of the volume.

I blanched the pears in near boiling water for about 10secs, lopped of the the top, bottom and then cut off the skins. I took that prepped fruit and ran it through a juicer.... looked like I slaughtered Barney the dinosaur!!



Those seeds are ridiculously hard (and wrecked my juicer ). I was able to yield about 1/2 gallon of juice which I then used for a 3 gallon batch. It cleared after only 3 months, and I can kindof see the orange hints coming through the very rich ruby/fuschia.



I have high hopes. Very melon-like with no vegetal flavors. I think gamey watermelon is apt.

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Old 06-24-2011, 10:39 AM   #9
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I keep seeing this recipe and think it looks awesome... any ideas where I would find them in the UK?

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Old 06-24-2011, 01:14 PM   #10
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I had a pretty hard time finding them in the stores when I knew they were there. Quite frustrating because that lovely purple color you see in the previous picture includes all the little thorns on it. Glochids, actually. Regardless, they hurt like heck, and stick around for a long time. In the stores, they have been singed quite a bit to burn off the little thorns, and appear an almost brown color. They almost look like a kiwifruit, but with a leathery skin instead of a hairy skin.

I doubt you will find them as Tuna. I read about them in a couple of blogs that used the name Opuntia (the genus of the cactus). These blogs were primarily talking about the way that they are prepared and consumed in Greece, if I remember correctly.

The cactus itself grows pretty much everywhere. It is one of the most hardy cacti around, doesn't need good soil, and grows like a weed in 43 C summer weather. Markets that cater to ex-pat's from arid environments would probably be a good place to start - but I would of course ask a couple people in the store. The other situation is that the fruit are not usually ready to harvest until the end of the summer - August to September is when they really start coming in to their own.

Here's a link to a picture of what it looks like in the store, compared to what it looks like fresh off the plant. Just a google search for it, and it is on Flicker: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kittylaroux/4026191539/

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