Pereskia aculeata

This shrub in the cactus family can be found in all regions of Brazil, but Minas Gerais is where it is more prominently featured in traditional dishes. In the historical cities of this state, it is often featured in the menus – the chicken with Barbados gooseberry leaves, for example, is a classic recipe of Minas Gerais cuisine. With high iron content and a flavor reminiscent of spinach, the leaves can be eaten raw, stir-fried or blanched in a hot broth. Traditionally served with chicken and pork dishes, it can also be added to salads, soups, breads, savory cakes, quiches, soufflés, pasta and pizza.