Festival Celebrates Arizona's Prickly Pear Cactus Foods And Drinks

By Mark Brodie, Steve Goldstein
Published: Friday, August 17, 2018 - 2:24pm
Updated: Friday, August 17, 2018 - 2:25pm
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Have you ever had a prickly pear margarita?

Well, it turns out there are lots of other ways to enjoy this desert fruit, and they’ll all be celebrated this weekend at the 7th Annual Prickly Pear Festival in Superior, Arizona.

The festival began years ago at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, not far from Superior. As demand for the event grew, they expanded it to the town.

It starts with a short guided hike early tomorrow morning near the Superior air strip to show people how to forage for the ripe prickly pear fruit, but event organizer Pete Casillas says, you need to come prepared.

“You have to bring your own bucket and tongs and gloves to be picked,” he said.

Now, if you’ve never seen a prickly pear fruit, it’s about the size of a plum and can be yellow or light green, but the ones in Superior are a bright fuchsia color.

If you’ve ever been to an Arizona tourist shop you’ve seen some of the obvious uses, from jellies to syrups, and — of course — as a great prickly pear margarita.

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