The Fico D'India/ Ficchi D'India (plural) or prikly pears as we know them, are a sweet fruit that grow off a cactus plant.There are three different Prickly pears varieties, having 3 distinct colors: The Sulfarina the most widespread and therefore less in demand variety, has a typic orange-yellow flesh and a slightly powdery consistency; Muscaredda, a sweeter and more crunchy variety, having a white pulp, and finally the Sanguigna, which is characterized by its red-purple pulp, incredibly juicy and sweet.The flesh is juicy and sweet and contains many seeds, which the locals devour without a thought. Excess fichi d’India are transformed into preserves, juices, condiments, liquors and even skincare products – the essential oils of the fruit’s seeds being highly prized. Prickly pears are not only good for the skin however. In terms of nutrition, they have many advantages, including a low calorie count and a high concentration of vitamin C, magnesium and fiber. Research also shows that prickly pears have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, two aspects that might explain why some Sicilians consider it the perfect hangover cure ;)
The beautiful range of color of the ficchi d'india have inspired my Ficchi D'India armparty which can be found here!