UEO – unknown edible objects

Close to where I live, I have a small fruit and vegetable shop, which is an odd mix of common products and exotic, unidentified ones. Many times I go in, and I find myself in front of fruit (or are they vegetables?) that I have no idea where to place, let alone how to use. But as I refuse to give in to the unknown, I buy, try, taste and then wonder how I could integrate the UEO’s in my usual cooking.One of these UEO’s was (what later turned out to be) the cactus fig. Known as well under the name of prickly pear or feijoa. Seeing fig, I thought … fig! So I tried it at first with cheese. Not a top combination. But with a little help from Rick Stein and his travels through France, I decided to combine the flesh of these fruit with cream and vanilla extract. Which made a very tasty dessert. To adapt the recipe to my taste I also added a splash of lemon juice, and it was perfect.

Lesson learned: don’t be afraid of the UEO’s and just try them out. That doesn’t mean you will always like what you’ll try (memories of a durian still linger from Singapore) but my motto is, you have to give everything a chance.

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  • Claudia

    I once had an horrible experience with a cactus fig. It was shaved badly so there were some invisible stings outside the fruit…

  • Michele

    I live in the United States in Arizona and here candy are made from these prickly pear fruits, it is absolutly delicious. Your dessert sounds very good as well!

  • Andreea

    Claudia, I had the same experience with these. Two days I kept on picking stings from my fingers…

    And would love to try that candy Michele. Must be really tasty. Never seen candy like this in Europe.