Ceres festival celebrates cactus in Mexican life

jholland@modbee.comAugust 25, 2013 

    alternate textJohn Holland
    Title: Staff writer
    Coverage areas: Agriculture, Turlock; local news editor on Sundays
    Bio: John Holland has been a reporter at The Bee for 12 years. He has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and previously worked at the Union Democrat in Sonora and the Visalia Times-Delta.
    Recent stories written by John
    Email: jholland@modbee.com

— The first Festival del Nopal, recognizing the role of the cactus in Mexican culture, drew several hundred people Sunday.

They celebrated a plant, also known as prickly pear, with music, ballet folklórico, food booths and other activities at the Ceres Drive-In Flea Market.

"It's a very big part of the Latino culture," said Veronica Jacuinde, who helped organize the event for the Latino Community Roundtable of Stanislaus County. "It is used in many recipes."

Amparo Morales of Salinas and her family served up a dish that included chopped cactus, cabbage, tomatoes and other ingredients.

"The cactus contains a lot of protein, a lot of vitamins, and it helps with your metabolism," said her son, Angel Morales.

Jacuinde said the festival had a "wonderful" turnout and the group plans to make it an annual event.

Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at jholland@modbee.com or (209) 578-2385.

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