Sabras is the Hebrew word for the prickly pear cactus. It is commonly seen in Israel in the summer.
I found a site with some recipes for the Sabra for those who may be interested: http://kosherfood.about.com/od/kosherisraelifood/a/sabras.htm
The following tips are included:
- Choose sabras with even color that give slightly to pressure.
- Ripen sabras at room temperature until soft.
- Store sabras in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Peel sabras carefully to remove the small spines on the outer skin.
- Section sabras and remove seeds
- Serve sabras cold.
In an article entitled, “Persimmon, loquat, fig, pomegranate and prickly pear in Israel,” A. Blumefeld of the Institute of Horticulture, A.R.O. Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel, writes:
Prickly pear is widespread in Israel, mainly as a fence plant in Arab villages where it separates fields. As such it is an extensive non-irrigated crop. The fruit which begins to mature in early July is consumed locally and until recently, only very small amounts of fruit reached organized markets.
The main extensively grown cultivar is a thorny, orange cultivar. The propagation of the prickly pear is vegetative and most of the plants are similar. However, other types occur among the plants which show different types of “leaves” and fruits.
Growers have selected some with a different appearance, mainly for home gardens, with some for large-scale cultivation. One of the selections is almost thornless; it has been named ‘Offer’ and forms the basis for modern cultivation of the prickly pear.
Orchards of this cultivar are planted in rows 4×5 m apart and irrigation and fertilizers are applied. The fruit is brushed in packing houses and is sold in fruit shops like any other fruit.
On our recent trip to Israel Ferrell Jenkins did not offer to peel me one of these sabras for a snack. I’m sure it was only because he was too busy taking photos 🙂
Click on images for higher resolution.
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