Prickly Jewels


In the early fall, Sicilians enjoy the tuna, or fruit, of the cultivated “ficudinnia” in Sicilian, or “fico d’india” in Italian. We call them prickly pears. “Prickly” is a good description because their spines, both tiny and large, can penetrate your skin easily. Before eating them, you must remove the spines and then peal the green and pink skin to reveal the edible bright yellow, green, or fuschia pulp. This weekend in Roccapalumba, Sicily, they are celebrating the 16th annual Sagra del Ficodindia with an array of dishes made with prickly pears and of course, music, dance, and other family-friendly events. Thank you to Experience Sicily’s expert guide Sebastiano Garifo for this beautiful photo of the fichi d’india cactus plant.

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