Springtime in Northern Mexico and South Texas brings the emergence of Flor de Pita or Spanish Dagger Blossoms (Yucca Agavaceae) Pushing up like florid busbys, they bend and flutter on their spiky stalks in the March wind.
Many folks from the ranchitos harvest and pan sautee the blossoms. They taste a bit like artichokes, with the same texture.
The quiote (pronounce kee-OH-teh) or stalk initially resembles a white asparagas, with the flowers tightly folded upwards. As the quiote matures, the flowers relax and bloom. The maturation process is rapid. Make sure the flowers do not droop, or turn brown. Grab the base of the flower stalk with one hand and twist, while pushing down the spiked daggers to avoid getting poked. Wear protective goggles if you have them, although you can make do with sunglasses.
Once you have the bloom stalk in the kitchen, sort through the flowers and extract the pistil, as it is bitter. Wash the flowers, then sautee in cooking oil with garlic and onion in a frying pan for about 20 minutes.
Use as a filling in hot corn tortillas.