Babutsa or Prickly pear. Eating a cactus.

Originating from the cactus family, the prickly pear “babutsa”, also known as Indian fig or the prickly fig, is a large egg-shaped sweet orange or red coloured fruit.
Its outer layer is very prickly and great care has to be taken when harvesting them.
Commonly known in North Cyprus as the “babutsa” the prickly pear grows in the wild especially in the Mesaoria plain and is part of the typical vegetation of the Mediterranean climate. It is thought to originate from South Africa and is found in various arid, dry and lime soils.
Prickly Pear_2Research, especially in Italy over the past years has revealed that “babutsa” contains vitamin C and because of the colour pigments, known as “betalain”, the fruit has a very high proportion of antioxidant properties. It is thought that the colour pigments, besides “betalain” as well as “indicazanthin” play a great role in providing antioxidant effects. Together with vitamin C they increase the defences of your body and your general vitality.
The prickly pear is generally consumed cold.
Eating it whole along with its pips provides you with a satiety and therefore helps in weight control.