Jobes & the Giant Peaches

“Half rotten ere you be half ripe”

Those continental food markets are so tempting. The produce is displayed so attractively: ripe fruit in smooth skins and bright colours like a plump cleavage in a ball gown. I fell for it at La Boqueria, Barcelona’s most famous covered market, on La Rambla and thus even more a mecca for tourists than London’s Borough Market.

I saw a pile of enormous peaches – the size of grapefruit – and bought a couple for more euros than I’d like to admit. You aren’t allowed to feel the fruit first to see if it is ripe, but I assumed that was to protect the fruit from a manhandling by a million tourists and that the market vendor would pick me out some ripe ones.

My juicy pair were as hard as cricket balls. I left them in my hotel room for three days to ripen. All that happened was that their skins got bruised from where I’d been checking for signs of softness, and by the day I left – when I had planned to have them for breakfast – they were looking rather sorry, and the bruises were going brown, so I decided I’d better eat them rather than risk keeping them any longer. The epidermis was soft (on the point of rotting) but the flesh was still hard, woody and with none of the generous, wet sweetness I had been looking forward to for days.

A nice pair

They ended up in the bin, I’m afraid. I was so disappointed, as I’d been enjoying delicious Spanish peaches in the UK all summer. My food miles ethics falter when it comes to peaches, especially as I know the peach tree in my garden is unlikely to produce anything ripe enough to eat.

Peaches in November was a silly idea. I wouldn’t have dreamed of buying peaches in February, so why November? Holiday folly. Serves me right.

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~ by jobes on December 22, 2008.

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