Care for some cactus?

IMG_0043We road-tripped last week to visit friends. One of the intrigues of Morocco is the variety of terrain–mountains, coastal land, deserts–all within hours of each other. Our path was arid and my eyes were peeled to see sights unique to this area.

IMG_0044Yes! A spotting! Some local produce put out for sale at the side of the road. What is it?

IMG_0045It’s “hindia,” also known as prickly pears.

Not my favorite fruit to munch on! Not necessarily because of the flavor, but because of the awkwardness I have in eating it. We were offered it for dessert once. The host graciously removed the skin with his knife and handed me the innards, ready to eat. It was filled with edible seeds which reminded me of cherry pits. Believe me, it took all of my energy to smile and nod when I had a mouthful of these marble-like seeds swishing around. I panicked a bit–would I choke if I swallowed the whole lot of them? Should I crunch them? I think I ended up swallowing them little by little. But the terror still returns when I see them. I refused one when it was offered me a few weeks ago. And our car didn’t stop at the side of the road to buy them.

IMG_0046The cactuses grow well here, provide protection for houses, and create some income through their fruits.

IMG_0047Some entrepreneurs waiting for a sale.

IMG_0048Cactus is God’s gift to the desert. But not my choice for dessert!

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