Edible cacti in Chile

March 18, 2010, 9:48 p.m. | by Adriano Petrich | Categories: cacti chile fruits german vegetarian | comments

Edible cacti in Chile

Deserts and Valleys

Driving through north Chile is amazing.

The semi-arid landscapes seems to stretch all the way, that is, until you find a river coming down the Andes.

Where there is a river there is a fertile valley.

I didn’t go all the way to Atacama desert but I was lucky to stop in La Serena and follow the river Elqui and it valley up mountain.


Oh the Fruits

The fertile valleys with over 300 days of clear skies a year produce the most impressive fruits I’ve ever though possible.

The grapes and melons are more sweet and mellow than sugar from.. err.. sugar cane..

Not much of a tip, but if you can, consider buying fruit directly from the producers on the roadside stands.

With all that fruit around Chileans are crazy about their cacti fruit.


Copao

Copao comes from the most stereotyped cacti ever. Yeah: The phallic one most common with 3 points.

We’ve all seen them on roadrunner and so..

It is a spherical fruit, that looks like a dinosaur, green scales and all.

To eat you just cut a flap on the cap.

Inside it there is a somewhat tart gel with very small seeds, when mashed it turns to liquid.

Then just spoon it out.


Tuna is not tuna!

The other love afair is a fruit called Tuna.

note: Tuna the fish is called Atúm there.

Tuna comes from more a more flat disk like cacti.

Just remove the outer skin and inside there is a deep green succulent flesh.

It has the texture and color of a kiwi but with seeds the size of guava seeds.

Very tasty and sweet.


 
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