Prickly Pear

Valley of the Temples

Valley of the Temples

The Barbary fig has Aztec origins and for the first conquistadores, who invaded the forests of Central America, this plant looked like "one of the ugliest" plant in the new world, a kind of alien compared to the thousands of other species of the European flora. After some time, the Barbary fig reached and colonised the Mediterranean agriculture, it came out of the court garden, where it was shown as a eccentric phenomenon, and became a characteristic features of the Sicilian landscape.The Sicilian agricultural tradition knows many ways to use its fruit, alternatively to fresh consumption, such as a liqueur extract, mostaccioli (Sicilian Cookies) and mostarda. In the past, its cladodes were used as basic bowls during meals. In 1891 a French traveller wrote: "With around twenty prickle pears a Sicilian finds the right way to have breakfast, lunch, dinner and to sing during a break."

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  • Title: Prickly Pear
  • Location: Agrigento, Italy, 37.290879,13.585206
  • Rights: Photo Archive Parco Archeologico e Paesaggistico della Valle dei Templi