Native to Mexico, this plant was unknown in Europe before the voyages of Christopher Columbus. Sailors from the New World would board it on their ships to be eaten during the crossing. Rich in vitamin C, it helped prevent scurvy. The Prickly Pear is now common in the Mediterranean basin.
Its stems form large water-filled “snowshoes”, pierced with formidable needles. Its red and juicy fruit is eaten raw, cooked into a jam or even a fruit spread. Rich in fibre, the Prickly Pear is also used in traditional medicine to treat indigestion, burns or even diabetes.