Definition of nopal in English:
noun (plural nopales /-ˈpäles/)
1A cactus that is a major food plant of the bugs from which cochineal is obtained.
- Genus Nopalea, family Cactaceae: several species, in particular N. cochinellifera
- The Aztecs cultivated cochineal, a tiny insect that lived on the native nopal cactus and produced a red dye that was the brightest and strongest color Europe had ever seen.
- Cochineal - a red dye made from insects harvested from the nopal cactus - was the most lucrative export item after silver that Spain extracted from Mexico during the colonial period.
1.1 (nopales) The edible fleshy pads of the nopal cactus, used as a staple in Mexican cuisine.
- The plant produces flat, round pads (sometimes called nopales or nopalitos), which in some locales are sold in grocery stores for consumption.
- Canned nopales (plain, or in brine or a vinegar pickle) are available.
- There are stacks of mangoes and piles of nopales, baskets of dried chiles and vats of mole paste.
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