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This fruit has a deep red outer skin when ripe and has very sharp protruding spines. The inner flesh is a deep red and contains numerous tiny black seeds.
Care needs to be taken when handling Green Cactus pears. Even if purchased from a grocery store, Green Cactus pears may still have some tiny, hair-like spines attached to the surface that can cause discomfort and irritation. The fruits should be held with tongs or rubber gloves to prevent penetration of the prickly fibers into fingers. They should also be rinsed and scrubbed in cool water or burned over a fire to remove the spines. The flesh of the pear can be sliced and used fresh in fruit and green salads or as a topping for yogurt and cereal. The pears can also be pressed through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds to make a puree. Once pureed, the juice can be used as a base for sorbets, smoothies, cocktails, salad dressings, marinades, and sauces. Green Cactus pears can also be slow-cooked to make preserves, jams, and jellies.