The nopal, much like the maguey, plays a pivotal role in the history of Mexico. Not only used as both food (1) and medicine both plants have a space in the creation legends of Mexico and both have multiple cultural usages. for both humans and livestock For many generations prior to the arrival of the Spanish the Mexican people made a durable and environmentally friendly … Continue reading Environmentally Friendly Paint from the Nopal Cactus
Updated 16/06/22 The rabbit holds a special place in the mythological landscape of México. It plays a part in both the legend of the moon (1) and in the creation of pulque. The moon is itself represented in various codices by the image of a jar of pulque, the rabbit was used as a measuring stick of drunkenness (2) and the saying “Ye iuhqui itoch” … Continue reading Pulque Curado : Sangre de Conejo (Rabbits Blood)
Updated 08 June 2022 Colonche (1) is another Mesoamerican fermented drink similar in design to tepache and pulque. It is produced from the tuna fruits of several species of the nopal cactus (most notably O.strepthacantha) and is fermented using wild yeasts. Its shelf life, like that of tepache is somewhat longer than that of pulque and it can be expected to last for as long as 14-15 days. It is a … Continue reading Frutos de Cactus : Colonche
The xoconostle (from Nahuatl xoconōchtli – ‘Xococ’ = ‘sour’ and ‘nochtli’ = tuna or prickly pear fruit) is native to central México and the arid semi-desert areas such as: Coahuila, Zacatecas, Jalisco, San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato, Queretaro, State of Mexico and Hidalgo. It is the fruit of a type of Opuntia cactus. There are more than 15 varieties of this fruit. Opuntia joconostle, O.chávena, O.lasiacantha Pfeiffer, O.matudae and O.delafuentiana are noted … Continue reading Frutos de Cactus : Xoconostle
The Opuntia species of cactus (also called Nopal cactus) has been used for food and medicinal purposes in México since before the time of the Aztecs. The fruits (knowns as tunas in México) and the “leaves” (botanically known as cladodes) are eaten on a daily basis. The cladodes in particular are a tasty and nutritious green vegetable (once the spines have been removed). As a vegetable it … Continue reading The Medicinal Qualities of Nopal Cactus
The fruits of the cactus are also known as prickly pears (or sometimes Indian figs) and come in a range of colours from green to yellow and the whole spectrum of pinks and reds. They too both have medicinal and culinary uses. Cactus fruit contains substantial amounts of ascorbic acid, vitamin E, carotenoids, fibres, amino acids and antioxidant compounds (phenols, flavonoids, betaxanthin and betacyanin). These phytonutrients … Continue reading Frutos de Cactus : Tunas. The fruit of the nopal.
The Mesoamerican deity Huitzilopochtli was the patron god of the Mexican people and is the primary God of War (and the Sun) in the Aztec pantheon. The legend goes that after he was betrayed by a nephew he killed him and removed his heart. This heart was left on an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco and, like many creation legends involving plants, from the rocks upon … Continue reading Huitzilopochtli, Tenochtitlan and the Opuntia Cactus
The Opuntia species of cactus, also commonly called the Prickly Pear, is another seemingly hostile plant (along with the maguey) that despite its thorny exterior is a source of both food and medicine. Both its leaves (botanically known as cladodes) and fruits, called “tunas” are eaten on a daily basis in Mexico. As a cactus it must be treated carefully during preparation. They all carry spines … Continue reading The Nopal as Food