Friday, September 26, 2008

A Very Strange Fruit Indeed

One of the most fascinating things I've run into EVER was something Anna's mother had made. She keeps jars of fruit in a sugar syrup, a variety of them... The first day, we had a sugared apricot. That took me back to my childhood: I used to love the super sweet apricots and their syrup.

The second day, Anna said it was some type of citrus. When I bit into it, I discovered it was bergamot rind. That was fascinating! I've never eaten bergamot before but know the flavour from Earl Grey tea and other flavoured things.

The last one was more perplexing. Anna asked me to guess what it was.

From a distance, the syrup in the jar was very dark reddish. I initially guessed prune.

But that wasn't it. Then Anna dared me to guess. Game on, I said. I didn't say anything for a while, as I examined the shape.

Finally, "It looks like a walnut." Anna threw her hands up in disgust (I'd gotten it right)
So I bit into it.

Now that's just crazy: it's the entire walnut, from the outer skin, through the shell, all way way in. And it's all soft, like a fruit. The flavour was only very faintly nutty, very sweet and intensely spiced (there were cloves stuck into it.) My understanding is that the walnuts are preserved and candied when they are still green.

Delicious, and quite unexpected.

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