There have been some good fruity treats making their way into my tummy lately... who says autumn is only apples and pears?
Oh Figs, figgie fig figs. How I love thee. My aunt & her boyfriend went fig-picking and were so extremely kind to share their bounty with me. I'll be honest, this picture doesn't begin to capture the extent of their generosity, because I can't stop eating them. Figs are one of my favorite foods in all the world - but these green-on-the-outside-and-red-on-the-inside ones are my hands down favorite. Soft, sweet, juicy, beautiful... mmmmmmm.
Check out these goodies! I bought this fun little branch of berries at the farmers' market for $1. I hadn't ever seen anything like this before, but apparently a very similar species grows as a non-native invasive on the East Coast of the U.S., where it is called "autumn olive." The farmer I bought it from was Portuguese, and he called them baghinas. The have a dry, astringent skin which is the first flavor to hit your mouth, but then the flavor sweetens and becomes juicy, and there's an edible seed inside... The flavor is really nice, with a clear berry flavor. Maybe a cross between a currant and strawberry flavor? I'm just eating them raw, but I'm sure that some of you culinary geniuses out there could come up with something special.
I just recently had my first ever fresh date, and then I was so excited to see some at our farmer's market last week. Like a dried date, they have a lot of sugar, so I just bought a few to snack on and learn about. The least transparent one, on the bottom left will have a crisp texture, a bit dry (but not in an unpleasant way) with a much more subtle date flavor. The darkest, most transparent one on the right is the most like the dates you'd buy at the store - more liquified sugars, sweeter, and a softer texture. The ones in between capture some combination or trajectory between those two extremes. If you ever have a chance to try out some fresh figs, give 'em a go. They're notably different from "regular dates" but with the same aroma and flavors.
Last but not least, my beautiful $4 mango! I'd seen these "California Grown" mangos at my local store, and finally bought one. Wonderful! The variety is called "Keitt." They are sweet, firm, luscious, large, and - best of all - have a tiny pit inside compared to most mangos (more for your money!). I love the idea of enjoying a mango that hasn't been flown from half way around the world. I got this particular mango at Whole Foods, for an entire $4... but it was HUGE. Bigger than my dog Snoopy's head. Practically bigger than my head! And soooooo gooooood. Juicy drippy orangey tropical deliciousness.