[Spanish] plural nopales

The nopal or biznaga is a cactus yielding tangy prickly pears, called tuna in Mexico. The spines need to be carefully removed before they are cooked, say by dicing and boiling in a little salted water with flavourings such as garlic and onions. The resulting vegetable is rather like crunchy green beans, bland in flavour but good for bulking up stews. They produce an okra-like slippery slime which needs to be removed by rinsing after cooking. They are usually mixed with tomatoes and coriander (US: cilantro) to make a salad and they are frequently also candied and used in tamales or desserts. They are also called nopalitos.

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