Juicy Fruit: Mexico's Prickly Pear Cactus Fruits. In late summer in Mexico, prickly pear cactus fruits, or tunas, are everywhere—a refreshing snack eaten out of hand and a popular ingredient in candies, drinks, jams, and more. Cactus pads, or nopales, are eaten year-round, but. The fruit of the prickly pear cactus, known by the name cactus pear and prickly pear, is oval with a reddish-purple color. Also known as "tuna," the fruit ripens in. Opuntia is a genus in the cactus family, Cactaceae. The most common culinary species is the Indian fig opuntia (O. ficus-indica). Most culinary uses of the term "prickly pear" refer to this species. Prickly pears are also known as tuna (fruit), sabra, nopal (paddle, plural .. vegetable dishes, and breads to desserts, beverages, candy, jelly, or drinks. This vegetable is popular in Mexico and other Central American countries, parts of As part of the cactus plant, the prickly pear is a fruit that is 2 to 4 inches long. The cactus itself is dangerous with its sharp needle-like thorns. But the fruits are really nasty, looking so coy and friendly with fuzzy dots on them. Those fuzzy. 'Prickly pear' is the common name of the fruit that grows on top of the leaves like most fruits and vegetables, so these spiny fruits can help you.