First Taste

If you are reading my other posts, you’ll know I can be a bit adventurous in my eating. There isn’t much I won’t try at least once. This past weekend provided me with an opportunity to try something new that I’d seen many times on food shows, but not in real life.

My great nephew turned four last Saturday. Due to the pandemic, and at one point distance, I had never had the opportunity to meet him until now. He is cute as a button, gregarious, and a smart little cookie. He came over on his own to ask who I was, and after telling him I was his uncle since his dad was my nephew, he came over and gave me a big hug. His mother had arranged a great party. There was catered food, a tent to eat under, a bouncy house with a little pool to slide into, and even a mechanical bull. The little kids liked the slide the most while the older folks enjoy the bull the most. Riding a mechanical bull has never, and still isn’t, on my bucket list, but it was enjoyable to watch the young and the old (especially the old), get on the bull to ride for a second or two.

The catered food was fantastic. There was pork, chicken, steak, and chorizo, along with the fixings for street tacos. The pork had been placed on a rotisserie with a pineapple over it, which dripped onto the pork adding some great flavor. Other dishes included spaghetti, rice, potato salad, macaroni salad, and grilled veggies. Here is where the new dish to taste came into play.

In addition to the four sides mentioned above, there was also cactus salad. It looked very interesting, not what I was actually expecting. Looking at the dish, you’d not know it was cactus. It looked like chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, and some cheese. Looks can be deceiving. After taking a small amount to taste, as I didn’t want to take too much in case I didn’t like it, I took my first bite.

I was surprised by the texture of the cactus. It wasn’t firm like I had expected. There was a kind of mushy texture to it, squishy firmness. Odd, but delicious. What I found most surprising was the undertone of heat. The heat came as an aftertaste which lingered long enough to last until the next bite. When finished, unlike the jalapeño my sister started but couldn’t finish (I ate it to keep it from going to waste), which provides the heat long after the final bit, the cactus bite just faded away letting you know it was there without overstaying its welcome. I will definitely have it again, maybe even make some myself.

In addition to trying something new, I had a baking day on Sunday, making a peach pie with peaches from my canning pantry.

Monday was homemade pizza day. I tried a new dough recipe adding a few herbs into the dough for taste. For one, I even tried making a stuffed crust. It worked, just need to go bigger next time. Don’t judge the rectangle, I try for round and it almost always ends up becoming a shape with four corners.

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