Fichi d’India

Personally, I’d never seen these fruits until I spotted them in Italy.  Fichi d’India = Indian figs.  They are actually part of the cactus family and originated in Mexico!  Their name is a bit of a puzzle!

A friend and I bought a couple of the figs at the Sant’ Ambrogio market and had the vendor show us how to cut into it.  It was sweet and juicy, but not pleasant with all the seeds.

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Indian Fig

 

Common names – Barbary Fig, Cactus Pear, Christian Fig, Indian Fig opuntia, prickly pear are some of the common names for Indian fig.

Origin – Indian fig is native to Mexico.

Scientific Name –  Opuntia ficus indica

Appearance – The flesh of the fruit will be in bright red/purple or white/yellowish color. The fruit contains many tiny seeds that are usually swallowed.The fruit is often used in the preparation of jams and jellies which resembles both strawberries and figs in flavor and color. Opuntia ficus indica is used as a dietary supplement to decrease oxidative stress and lower blood lipid levels.