Xoconostle cactus fruit is native to Central Mexico, and has likely been used for thousands of years by the indigenous peoples of Mexico. Xoconostle (pronounced choko-nose-leh) cactus fruit is a sour prickly pear variety, botanically classified as Opuntia joconostle matudae.
Not to be confused with the prickly pear or in Spanish known as “tunas”, the xoconostle cactus fruit is a completely different kind of fruit. Think of it as the prickly pear’s tangy distant cousin. The name “xococ” in the ancient Nahuatl language means ‘sour’ which differentiated it from the sweet cactus fruits of other Opuntia species. The fruit juice would make an ideal marinade and the fruit is often used in savory applications but can be used to make jellies and jams, chutneys, liquor and syrups. Zone 9+.