El nopal – short version


  • Remember, expect this to be challenging.
  • First, read the English version.
  • Next, read the Spanish version.
  • Click the control to hear the audio.
  • Listen several times, following along on the transcript.
  • Finally, listen without looking at the transcript.
  • See how many words and phrases you can pick out.
  • Then try the long version.

Short Version


Our parents made us eat our vegetables whether we wanted to or not. But what if that vegetable was a cactus? Fortunately for Mexican children, the spines of the “nopal” plant are scraped off during preparation. Nopal, which is in the prickly pear family, has been eaten for at least 11,000 years, and cultivated as a food crop for 5,000 years. It contains vitamins A, C, K, B6 and riboflavin and is an abundant source of minerals. Medical science has discovered that extract of nopal can help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol as well as relieve sore throat and irritable bowel syndrome. Nopal is an important ingredient in Mexican cuisine and the fruit of the plant is made into candy.

El nopal

Nuestros padres nos hacían comer verduras, quisiéramos o no. Pero, ¿y qué si esa verdura fuera un cacto? Afortunadamente para los niños mexicanos, las espinas del nopal se raspan durante su preparación. El nopal, que es parte de la familia vegetal “opuntia”, se come desde hace unos 11,000 años y se cultiva como alimento desde hace 5,000 años. Contiene vitaminas A, C, K, B6 y riboflavina y es una fuente abundante de minerales. La ciencia médica ha descubierto que el extracto del nopal puede ayudar a regular los niveles de glucosa y colesterol, y aliviar el dolor de garganta y la irritación intestinal. El nopal es un ingrediente importante de la cocina mexicana, y la fruta de la planta se hace en dulce.