A Paleo Conversation : From CST to PST, a bi-regional take on living paleo.
  • Are you Cereus?

    JR- I’m thrilled to hear that you decided to take the Primal Blueprint Certified Expert training.  No need to convince me, I’m sure you’ll find applications of the knowledge gained in your day-to-day life. You certainly have run the gamut in terms of reading paleo/primal diet related literature and I have learned a lot from you through osmosis.

    Speaking of reading, did you ever find Where Our Food Comes From by Gary Nabhan?  As you recall, he’s this absolutely fascinating ethnobotanist, Franciscan brother, and MacArthur fellowship recipient who I found after reading Lynne Rosetto Kasper (your lady crush!) and  Sally Swift’s cookbook, How to Eat Weekends.  I’m excited to pick up a few of his other books because he focuses on plants and cultures of the Southwest.

    Which brings me to the title of this post. The house where we are living has the most delightful xeriscaping. As a landscape designer/architect, you’d appreciate the botany and the effort to reduce water use in the arid climate. The front yard has a few aloes, agaves, barrel cacti, and creosote. Several fruit trees reside in the backyard with fruit in various stages of ripeness.


    Here are some nearly ripe pomegranates growing along the driveway. Note: the pomegranate will not ripen off the tree, so it’s important to leave them on the branch until they look ruby red.


    There is a large persimmon tree with unripe fruit. I recognized their classic shape, despite their color. Unfortunately, they are no where close to being edible at this time.


    This little shorty is an avocado tree that was planted by the house’s owner last year.  It has yet to bear fruit.  I wonder if it has something to do with the long drought.


    Here’s a real beauty of a tree. A very large grapefruit with exceptionally ripe yellow grapefruits.  Henry and I picked a few as we did not want them to join their comrades on the ground.  I expected them to be excessively bitter.  We were surprised to find them tart and yet, very sweet. We ate the entire thing.


    Have you ever eaten a sun-warmed grapefruit?  It was a real treat. Slow down… don’t go microwaving your oranges now.

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    Enter the Peruvian apple cactus or Cereus peruvianus or Cereus repandus! Check out this majestic plant! Some grow to be over 20 feet tall.  They have these marvelous branching limbs and produce a lovely, large white flower.


    It has a beautiful fruit that can be pink to orange in color.


    When sliced, you can appreciate the soft inner flesh that has many crunchy little black seeds.  The flavor is like a very mild kiwi with a tart cruciferous outer shell.

    There is a real debate about this plant’s nomenclature.  Please see the article entitled “The Least and Best Known Cactus.” by Daiv Freeman, webmaster of Cactiguide.com, on the controversy this spiny fellow has stirred up.

    I’ve not written much fan mail in the past, but I think this fruit deserves a letter to Mr. Nabhan, himself.  I want to pick his brain on how this fruit has been used. I’ll let you know if I get a response.

    FYI: we’re Facebook friends.  I know you’re jealous…


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