Ciolim has sustained the Tohono O'odham People for countless generations. Just before the buckthorn cholla cactus folders in the spring, its buds are hand picked, cleaned of their many thorns and dried for use year round. Cholla buds have a unique flavor that includes tones that range from artichoke to asparagus. They are green and vibrant. Each pound of fresh ciolim yields just 2.25 ounces once dried and will triple in size when rehydrated. When cooked, they will be plump and soft. Ciolim is very low in the glycemic index, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and is high in calcium.