Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fall Fruit at the Market

It's always exciting to me to see the seasons change in the market. Here you see the new purple and green grapes next to the last of late summer's plums. It'sad to see the plums go but they'll be back next year and there are so many other fruits to take their place.

These pears, I discovered in Italy. If they are sold in the States, I don't know about it. The Italians call them "Decana" but in French and English, they are "Comice". Julia Child claims that her culinary epiphany that brought her from a job in the American Foreign Service to a position at the top of the world of cooking, was brought about by one perfectly sweet and juicy Comice pear. She never knew food could taste that good.

Pomegranates are as fun to open as they are to eat. Their edible parts being made up of sections of sweet-tart, juice-filled seeds. Persephone of Greek mythology ate 3 of these tempting jewel-red bites and landed in the underworld for 3 months every year. Was it worth it?

Persimmons. In the States, there are 2 general varieties for sale: the "Fuyu" that looks like a short, stout, orangey tomato and can be eaten while still crisp. The Italian variety similar to this is "kaki di vaniglia" you see it's yellowier and rounder than the ones in the States. You can eat them plain to appreciate their sweetness or you can drape them with prosciutto just like you would a summer melon.

The other type of persimmon that must be eaten extremely ripe (and I mean, like with a spoon! Notice these on the left are being held in styrofoam crates so they don't fall apart) is the "Hachiya" persimmon shaped oblong, like a large, orange roma tomato. The ones here in Italy are again, rounder but really have the same soft, sweet flesh. These you have to eat alone, hidden away, where nobody can see you licking the juice off of your fingers.

Then to the right you see the Miagawa. Sounds Japanese, doesn't it? I don't know much about them except that I love their look. They are sweet citrus on the inside and look like tart limes on the outside.


Blogger Lin said...

OHHH -- What luscious temptations!! Here in NC our wild persimmon trees produce the 'must be absolutely RIPE before eating' sweet with a spoon type of persimmon -- but -- they are a mere quarter of the size of these ... and we fight the wildlife for them -- but oh, the persimmon pudding they make! FANTASTIC photos --!

1:40 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Lin, You know, I've heard of American persimmons; there's a persimmon cake made in Indiana and stuff like that. It's funny because, growing up in the midwest, I found persimmons only in foreign food import stores. What is persimmon pudding made of? Persimons plus a custard?

3:56 PM  
Blogger Texas Espresso said...

so much variety! I think they have a much better selection of produce in Italy than here in the States. I've never had a persimmon but they look so good. I love those lime looking things....

thanks for sharing the pics - i love those markets!

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful market! I only wish we had such a beautiful outdoors market that was easy to visit here where I live :(

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooooooo, again, beautiful pictures! Makes me want to get in the car and drive straight to our closest farmer's market except, I'm a day too late...yup, they only have them once a week (on a Saturday), but even if I did catch them, they simply could not compare with those fabulous Milano markets!

My mom has a pomegranate tree in her yard in Bangalore - we LOVE the fruit!

4:44 AM  
Blogger Rowena said...

I've been ogling the pomegranates and kakis. Those are my fave exotics! As to your comment on Latte di Suocera...oh man! I'd love to get my hands on that one!!

2:37 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Texas, I think you're right the selection of fruits and vegetables here is really great.

Ellie, but isn't Australia full of really exceptional produce? My friend from Alice Springs raves about the seasonal fruit there.

Hi Lotus, do they have a lot of local produce in the markets in Canada? (in the summer)

2:39 PM  
Blogger a.c.t. said...

It all looks so wonderful! We have markets here, but nothing on that scale. I love the fact that in Italy the fruit depends on the seasons. I've told myself that this year I'll refuse to buy tomatoes through the winter - they taste horrible anyway.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And another thing about pomegranates - they die beautifully. I mean it. They shrivel and harden and turn into ceramic replicas of themselves. Then they last forever.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Yes, a.c.t.! Let's make a pact! Only canned San marzanos from now until July! What do you say? I'll blog about the best Sicilian orange and black olive salad for you this winter. It's a great substitute for tomato salad. (tastes nothing like it, though)

HI June, You are so right! We have 3 little ones sitting in a silver bowl from last year and they're still lovely. Great tip.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Rowena, You posted a comment at the same time I did and I missed you! Maybe there's a little macedonia of pomegranates and kakis with some Liqueur of Mother-in-Law's Milk drizzled on top in your future?

8:07 PM  
Blogger a.c.t. said...

Susan, please do, that sounds amazing. I'd love some salad alternatives. Basta pomodori!

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just purchased some Pomegranates and My Daughter cut one open to try one - Then we were confused on how to eat it.We soon found out it's for the delicious juice inside. I buy a bottle of the juice every week it's a mixture of cheeries & Pomgranates together and really quite yummy and healthy.

2:57 PM  

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