The idea of eating cactus -- a plant covered in spikes -- might cause some to laugh or grimace, or run away. But a true Southwesterner knows that's all a ruse. Just strip off that rough exterior of certain varieties -- and a tasty, okra-like veggie is waiting to be eaten.
Nopalitos, or the small pads of a prickly pear cactus, are, in fact, a staple of Mexican cuisine and can be found in your front yard -- or (don't worry) already prepared at your local farmer's market.
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The Santa Cruz River farmer's market in Tucson gained some national attention today for this rather unexpected form of desert cuisine, but something tells us this is not a culinary treat that will be sweeping the nation anytime soon. Though most wouldn't hesitate to drink it in vodka form, maybe you have to have lived through a lifetime of scorching summers to appreciate eating a delicacy that's so seemingly...well, prickly.