Monday, May 19, 2008

Nespola


The road from the beach to our town is full of gardens and citrus trees. Very often, the owners gather baskets full of their harvest and sell it to passersby on the side of the road. Well, a few weeks ago we met a nice old man who sold nespole and big juicy oranges. So, yesterday we went back for more! This is a great form of "kilometre zero". (Individual farms engaged in direct selling.)


We also took a walk in Vena yesterday where Antonello found a large bush of rosemary. One can only image how long it has been growing there. At least here in Sicily, the rule is that anything over the fence or growing in the street is free for all...


The loquat or Japanese plum, is what we call the nespola. Loquat fruits grow in clusters and are oval shaped, with yellow or orange skin. Sicilian loquats are about the size of a plum tomato, and there are two varieties, one more sweet and one more sour.
Both are apricot in color with a firm, succulent, and tangy flesh, tough skin, and two to five large pits. The skin, though thin, can be peeled off manually if the fruit is ripe.

You may or may not see these golden beauties in your area because the loquat bruises very easily, which means a difficult fruit to ship and store. But if you do... Enjoy!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ciao Jilli,
you brought back memories from a year ago today when we were in Sicily visiting parenti. It was the first time for my husband to taste nespole & he went crazy over them. When we got back in KC he was searching to buy some, but like you said they're hard to find especially in the Midwest.

Enjoy la frutta fresca.

Carole

Lucia said...

I love reading anything about Sicily the last time I was there I was 18. I was there 3 months and enjoyed every fruit and vegetable that was available fresh. Each day I treasured like it was my first and last. One day I will return to Termini Imerese. In the meantime I enjoy reading your blog and being taken back to Island periodically. I think it's so romantic how you and your sposo got together.

Jilli said...

Carole,
So happy to bring back memories!! I hope you can make it back soon...

Lucia,
Our story is a bit unique ;) Oh, what a lovely place Termini Imerese... Let me know when you come for a visit!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I love reading about Sicily...we had a such a fabulous time in 2006, we only could go for a week, but still was a very very enjoyable time.

Anonymous said...

we live in south florida and have a Nespola tree. we are not sure when to eat the fruit. it is a bit sour. any suggestions?

Jill said...

Hmm, a bit sour... We just wait till they are soft and the skin peals off nicely. They can be a bit sour, but wait a bit longer to eat them.

Anonymous said...

Wow what a pleasant surprise when I found this chat about Sicily and Nespola fruits. My cousin lives in France and brought back several small plants from Avola. So when I was visiting him in France he of course gave me a couple of saplings. I am now growing them in South Carolina and hope to see both of my small plants flourish. Of course my family in freezing Toronto are all envious of my find but can't wait to eat the fruits in about 5 years!

Jill said...

What a treat! In 5 years time you will be so happy...