Life would succ without cactuses: A summer cactus fruit salsa recipe

Jackie Amendola/Staff

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As someone who’s from Arizona, I’ve seen my fair share of cactuses. Yet, my appreciation for the plant didn’t grow until I moved to Berkeley, far from its desert environment. Cactuses are incredibly unique with a vast range of shapes and sizes. Each one has its own unique flair and beauty that should be recognized.

While you can find every kind of cactus in Arizona, the main species that is scattered throughout the desert is the saguaro cactus. It is the largest cactus in the United States and is exclusively found in the Sonoran Desert, a part of which is located in southwestern Arizona. I never realized how special it is to have such an incredible species right in my backyard! Among its many uses, the saguaro cactus is an essential habitat for many birds in the area, sheltering them from the desert heat. My favorite feature of the saguaro cactus is its beautiful and vibrant red fruits that blossom in the summer.

Cactuses all over the world deserve more appreciation. In honor of this wonderful plant, here’s a recipe that uses the saguaro cactus fruit to make a delicious salsa!


  • ½ cup diced saguaro cactus fruit
  • ½ cup diced tomato
  • ¼ cup corn
  • ¼ cup diced mango 
  • ⅛ cup finely chopped jalapeño
  • ⅛ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • Half a lime
  • 2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup


Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Then, serve and enjoy!

Cactuses deserve way more appreciation! Here is just one delicious way you can incorporate the sweet cactus fruit into your life, but there are so many more to check out. Happy Earth Day!

Contact Jackie Amendola at [email protected].