28 September 2009

Fruits of the Day: Late-Summer Berries

We're back in NY for two weeks; two weeks that are going by way too quickly. This past weekend I enjoyed my favourite Saturday morning ritual: A rendez-vous with my friend Vicki at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket in Brooklyn. I felt like a kid in a candy store. Browsing the late-summer/early-fall harvest (green beans! tomatoes! Jersey peaches!) was the first time I felt a pang about our current nomadism: Even if we had unlimited counter and fridge space, our overbooked schedule doesn't include a lot of time for cooking.

I settled for small quantities of the aforementioned green beans and tomatoes, and a couple of inimitable apple cider donuts. I also couldn't resist a few containers of what were probably among the last berries of the season. There were samples available of both blackberries and raspberries, and when Vicki tried the former she remarked, "That tastes like it should cure something." In other words, they were a little tart. I mixed some of the raspberries into my Greek yogurt for dessert last night and this afternoon made the rest into Baked's Raspberry Breakfast Bars, recipe and inspiration via Smitten Kitchen. It didn't seem like I had quite enough berries to cover the bottom layer of the bars so I chopped up a peach and threw it in there as well.

The verdict? The house smelled so good while they were baking that I could hardly wait for them to cool when I took them out of the oven. And they're delicious: Sweet and buttery and slightly tart. The bars are a little wetter than I'd have liked, especially since I plan to transport them to friends' places for dessert tonight and "breakfast" tomorrow morning (if there are any left - Ken also seems to like them!), but that's why god invented Tupperware. And forks.
UFF Fruit Rating:

12 September 2009

Fruit of the Day: Figo

We recently spent a very rainy day in Puerto Alegre, Brazil. We arrived at 8:30 a.m. and headed immediately to the central market, where our trusty Lonely Planet assured us we'd be able to dine at any number of restaurants and also buy delicious ice cream. We spent the morning drinking coffee and playing cards, and around lunchtime we wandered into one of the extraordinarily well-stocked fruit stands to see what we could find for FotD.

There were a bunch of new fruits, including some that we had to pass up because they were either sold only in large quantities or were just simply too large--like this guy, the unwieldy jaca (Jackfruit in English):

We settled on three different fruits, the first of which is the figo, which you undoubtedly recognize as a fig.

We're both fans of dried figs (ideally stuffed with a hunk of manchego and wrapped in proscuitto), but neither of us had tried fresh figs before. They're smooth and firm, but with a bit of squishiness. We cut one open and found its insides to be delightfully pink and seedy. Behold:

The flavour was nowhere near as intense as a dried fig, and I don't know that I'd even have been able to recognize the taste if I hadn't known what I was eating. It was very mild. The texture was the most familiar part - the seeds were unmistakeably figgy.

UFF Fruit Rating: