Have you ever gone for a stroll in a field of prickly pears? The effect is something between a western film and a prehistoric wood. In Santa Margherita di Belice the area dedicated to this fruit is not very widespread – approximately three hundred hectares – but of very high quality. There are “Muscaredda” with white pulp, “Sanguigna” with red pulp, and the one with yellow pulp, the most common. Thanks to calcareous soils and the predominantly organic management, the prickly pear in this area is sweeter and more full-flavored. The harvest is from September until early December, and it follows the practice known in jargon as “scozzolatura,” of cutting off the plant the first fruits of May to leave room for those that will come, the “bastardune”, tastier also thanks to the summer rains. They are harvested leaving a bit of peduncle – a piece of the pad of the plant – so they don’t turn black, and delicately picked, so that they won’t rot where fingers have touched them. On average, the productive cycle of a plant may run from 30 to 40 years, but there are also some plants that are more than one-hundred years-old. The flower of the prickly pear is also picked, and once dried, is used to make infusions and herbal teas that have an anti-inflammatory effect.