If you have some rudimentary Spanish skills, you are probably thinking "Tuna water? Yuk!"
Fooled you. "Tuna" is the Mexican name for the fruits of prickly-pear cactuses. The red fruits are sweet and filled with tiny black seeds.
Tunas are good to peel and eat, or you can make a drink out of them.
I had my first Agua de Tuna outside a church in Zaachila, Oaxaca one hot Sunday afternoon last summer. A tiny woman was selling cups full of the magenta liquid out of a plastic bucket. The drink was sweet and refreshing, perfect.
When I saw tunas at Whole Foods the other day, I snapped some up and made this:
Agua de tuna y naranja (Cactus-orange drink)
3 red ripe tunas
3 cups of water
Juice of one orange
Sugar to taste - just a bit
Peel and chop the tunas fine. You can strain the seeds out if you want but they add texture and mostly sink to the bottom, anyway.
Juice the orange. Mix the tunas and orange juice with the water and sugar, stir and refrigerate. Simple.
When I heard that La Dolce Vita was sponsoring a food meme called "In the Pink" to raise breast cancer awareness, I was sad to miss the entry deadline. But in the spirit of Mexico, where time isn't so important, consider this lovely pink drink my entry.