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Oh yeah, and the heat from the burner helps the skins to separate easier, too.
So, in texas and probably most of the sw us, we have a handy tool called a pear burner. Pear burner as in prickly pear, not bartlet pear, and this is what it is for. Actually it was developed by ranchers to burn off thorns and glochids so cows were able to use them as a food source in dry years, but works great for people too! Pear burners cost about 30 bucks, at the farm and ranch store or home depot. Scorch the cactus first then pick off the glochid free fruits.. Other than the fact that other animals will eat the nopals and pears that you scorch, since they are now thorn free, the prickly pear plant won't be bothered at all.