City dweller… meet life in the countryside!

DSC_3645Twice a week I wake up and think, “It’s market day! Time to replenish the fruit and veg drawer of the refrigerator!”

Rain or shine, I take my cloth carrier bag and a few small euro notes and make my way down the street towards the small parking area five minutes away, thinking:

  • What have I still got in the fridge?
  • What do I want to eat in the next few days? (Keeping in mind that in three days time, I will repeat this whole process again.)
  • What’s in season?
  • How will I cook it?

Here are some staple fruits (and veg) of my bi-weekly labour:

WARNING: If you are prone to drooling, this would be a good time to arm yourself with something absorbent… a tissue… a napkin… a sleeve…

vegetables
Fresh vegetables in late summer/early autumn.
fruits
Autumn fruits: locally grown grapes, plums and pears.
finocchio
Fennel: a vegetable that tastes like aniseed, but belongs to the carrot family.
courgettes
Verde di Italia: pale green ribbed courgettes.

You can’t tell from this picture, but these courgettes were tiny (for a size comparison: see left corner of the veg basket above), but so incredibly flavourful and fresh. I used one raw atop grilled aubergines (recipe to come). Scrumptious! Delicious!

And last, but not least… a treat for my better half… one of his favourites and not something that is all that commonly known worldwide. Persimmons, originally from Asia, grow on trees and are either round like a tomato or elongated like an acorn. Growing up, my parents would always buy the tomato-shaped ones that are orangey-red when ripe. The taste is distinct and very sweet; the texture is slightly crunchy and crisp, but not in the way you would describe an apple. Actually, it’s hard to describe! You’ll just have to try one!

My husband on the other hand grew up with the astringent variety. Now, don’t let the word ‘astringent’ put you off. It only means you need to make sure the persimmon is completely ripe before you tuck in. They should be a deep reddish-orange when ripe and soft to the touch. When they are ready, just cut into quarters and dig in with a spoon. It’s a bit sticky, so be prepared with a napkin. (Sleeves are not recommended this time!)

Kaki
Persimmons: a sweet tomato-shaped fruit that belongs to the berry family.
The sweet inside of a persimmon; soft enough to be scooped out with a spoon!
The sweet inside of a persimmon; soft enough to be scooped out with a spoon!

Until recently, I’ve always been a city dweller. I like the city life. You never get bored because there is always something to do, see or taste and always somewhere to be, go or get to. However, as I’m slowly discovering, life in the outskirts has its perks, too! The other day, I went on a mission to forage in a small town near a friend’s hometown. Autumn food number one: figs. Unfortunately no pictures of figs were actually taken, simply because the few we could find didn’t last that long!

Guiltily licking lips with a sheepish, but satisfied, grin.

But… we did find loads and LOADS of these:

garlic
Wild garlic picked from the local area.

Deceiving little things as they look like spring onions. They are lighter in flavour than the garlic we typically buy from the supermarkets, but definitely delicious! Can’t wait to go foraging again! Country life… there’s hope for you yet!

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4 comments

  1. I saw your new blog. the pictures are so pretty. did you took the pictures yourself? are you sure the one you plant is wide garlics? better don’t eat it in case it is poison.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those pics have me salivating for some of those delicious looking vegetables!!! I shall have to find a local farmers market here in London!
    Xx

    Like

    • Turnips at Borough Market near London Bridge is quite good, but also quite dear. They have a wide selection of fruits and veg. I remember going there to get wild garlic and other bits and bobs.

      Like

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