These tunas are the domesticated variety, Opuntia ficus_indica, that grow wild all over the San Diego County back country roads. The really red ones are ready to eat and/or juice, the yellow-orange ones, which get more shade, should ripen in a couple of weeks. Longer gathering season . . .
These are some of the reddest tunas I’ve ever seen. I’ll be back in a few days to gather them to make juice, which I freeze for the coming months. The tunas are incredibly nutritious. Several articles about the health benefits of the juice are posted on the Arizona Cactus Ranch website here. For recipes, there’s the Prickly Pear Cookbook by Carolyn Niethammer. The pads are edible as well, but it’s the young, bright green pads that ripen in the spring that are good to eat, minus the spines, of course.