Although common in Mexican dishes, and usually used to feed the cattle in most other places, Nopal cactus is sometimes the only source of food in some parts of the world.
The nopal cactus grows extensively throughout Mexico. Over 3,000,000 hectares (7,400,000 acres) of land is used to cultivate nopal.
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) and magnesium (11% DV), Per cup serving, , with nutrient content improving as the plant matures.
But in some parts of the world Nopal Cactus is not a commercial industry, but a matter of survival. Regions like the Northeast of Brazil, where sometimes it wont rain for 2 or 3 years, water is the most precious thing. Animals, and unfortunately people die because they can neither find water or food.
As the cactuses keep water inside themselves and therefore can grow in such drought conditions, it’s sometimes the only source of food to sustain the cattle… and the people.
Watch the video below to learn 3 Ways to Cook Nopales (Cactus) and try this, for most of us, exotic culinary.