Published: Ср, Июня 14, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Cactus fruit | Surviving Mexico

Cactus fruit | Surviving Mexico

June marks the beginning of the raining season. Most fruits and vegetables are not picking yet, however, the flower of one type of cactus converts to fruit and is ready to harvest at the very beginning of the rainy season. On Sunday, we started off early to minimize heat exhaustion and went in search of pitayas.

Quirahuyo dam during dry season

We went to the lake near Quiahuyo where We fetch our drinking water. (See Water Woes) It was especially low because last year's rains were less than normal.

Cow bones found when this section of the lake dried

During the rainy season, this lake is Almost 3 times as wide and has hidden deep areas that often become muddy traps for cattle and swimmers.

Locals illegally fishing

Even this shallow, the prey (lake) teems with fish.

Prohibited to fish with nets in this area

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Fishing with nets is prohibited so the fish population is not eradicated, however, that does not stop local fishermen. >

All along the edges of the lake, we found rusty spark plugs. Since there was no way to get through the mud and rocks, it seemed odd to me until my husband explained that the spark plugs weigh down the plastic soda bottles that are tied to the fish traps. When the bottle bobs, fish have been caught.

In order to get to the pitayas, we had to cross an area where cows came down from above to drink. As the cattle did not seem pleased to be disturbed, we moved quickly. My son is even taken off his red t-shirt, so he can not attract the attention of the bulls guarding their herds.

Just a bit further on, we found a good number of cacti. Pitayas are the spiny balls found at the top.

Cutting the pitayas

Unless you are sucking (hummingbird) harvesting them requires a very long forked stick. Fortunately, my husband is an old pro and we had a bucketful in no time.

Pop the pitaya fruit out with your thumb

Then, the fruit is exposed, use your thumb to pop half out and pop it in your mouth, again, checking for stray thorns. The fruit has the consistency of seedy brains and tastes a lot like strawberries.

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