More like an actual prickly pear than INW’s wonder texturizer.
This is a repost of legacy review, originally posted on the DIY_eJuice subreddit.
Setup: Recoil w/ flavor barrel, Dual 12 wrap 24g 3.5mm SS316 @.31 ohms. 60w power, 450F temp limit. Full Cotton Wicks.
Testing: Jungle Flavors Cactus, 1 and 4%, 60/40 VG/PG base, Steeped 13 days.
Flavor Description: I’d say the flavor here is fairly close to an actual prickly pear rather than the greener slightly more cactus-y INW . It’s slightly vegetal, but ultimately more of a fruit flavor. Leads with something like a white grape or lychee flavor, then you get some additional almost guavaish sweetness to it as it warms up a bit. Finishes with a relatively heavy white part of the watermelon rind flavor. If you look at a prickly pear recipe like ID10-T’s Bare Necessities, this is hitting most of those kind of notes. It actually reminds me a whole lot of a slightly less juicy version of FW Prickly Pear, but without the coil-wrecking / cancer-ish sugar syrup.
This definitely has some green to it, but it’s noticeably less green than INW Cactus. Where the INW cactus can get a bit swampy and darkly vegetal, this is a lighter, crisper green more akin to cucumber peel or watermelon rind. Almost has a bit of an underripe pear kind of tartness attached to that light green note.
Overall sweetness level is pretty realistic. Definitely comes across as a fruit but doesn’t go full bubblegum like some of the prickly pear flavorings in beverage blends. Texture-wise, this doesn’t really do the same crazy juiciness things that INW Cactus does. It’s maybe a bit dry, and takes on a slightly “popsicle-stick” kind of woodiness like TPA Cucumber. Instead of being really deep and juicy, it’s a bit light and sticky. There’s some of that filmy, slightly slick HFCS kind of texture to the sweetness here.
Off-flavors: Nothing unpleasant or chemical. Gets a bit too green at higher percentages.
Throat Hit: This actually has a little bit of slightly dry harshness to it.
Percentage testing: At 1%, this is maybe feeling a bit dry and thin. I’m getting most of that melon rind greeness here, without much of the sweeter fruit. There’s a bit of tartness here as well. Flavor seems a bit top-heavy here.
At 4% The sweetness here is quite a bit fuller and I’m getting a whole lot more of those grape and guava type fruity notes. Texture is a bit thicker, although it still doesn’t have that crazy deep juiciness of INW.
Just based on these tests, I don’t think is going to work a whole lot like INW cactus. I’d probably be a bit on the high side with this, around 2% for an accent or up to 3-3.5% as a primary flavor. The green here is subtle enough you don’t really have to worry about it taking over recipes.
Uses & Pairings: I don’t think this is quite a direct sub for INW Cactus, as it doesn’t have the same textural effect. I’d use it more as an actual prickly pear flavor.
Since it’s one of those complex collections of sort of identifiable fruit flavors, I think the way this comes across in a recipe is going to vary pretty dramatically based on what it pairs up against.
I could see this being used with cucumbers or something else kind of vegetal to sweeten those up without coming across as completely cloying.
TPA Dragonfruit would probably work well to really accentuate some of that bubblegum note from actual prickly pear. CAP Sweet Guava would probably do largely the same thing, although without as much textural baggage.
Should work really well with juicier apple or especially pear flavors.
I could see using this with grapes and kind of taking advantage of the slightly more vegetal back end to make a more realistic grape flavor.
FWIW, this also pairs really well with INW Cactus for a fuller, juicier prickly pear.
Probably a bit green for using with creams, so maybe tread lightly there, but overall it should fit in with just about any fruit you throw in there.
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This concentrate was provided to me by the manufacturer with no additional compensation. There was no editorial influence. I have no ongoing business relationships with ECX or its employees.