no·pal / ˈnōpəl; nōˈpäl/ • n. a cactus (genus Nopalea) that is a major food plant of the insects from which cochineal is obtained. ∎ (nopales ) the edible fleshy pads of this cactus, used as a staple in Mexican cuisine.
nopal (nopallitos) Mexican, flattened stem segments of cacti (Opuntia spp.) eaten as a vegetable.
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