Monday, May 19, 2008
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!