Thursday, January 22, 2009


Shout out to Kay for sending along her chronicle of a Portugal sabbatical a couple of years ago. I’ve been rationing myself to a couple of pages a day, feels like having a comrade in alien-ness. She describes an unusual fruit that she found, and I recognized the picture. They called it soursop, here it’s guanabana; see Wikipedia for a pic of this unusual, tropical looking thing. Another new one to me is the guaba (not guava), which looks for all the world like an 2-foot green bean, but contains creamy white sweet fruit around impressive pits. Wow. We also saw some cabbages the other day about 300% of normal size. With only a moisture cycle to govern planting and harvest– vs. an annual temperature cycle – things can grow for, well, forever. This can lead to some quite different strategies for plants. A common food, for example, is lupine seeds. They just don’t have time stateside to achieve a size worth harvesting, but here they’re like garbanzos.


Kay said...

Wow - those guabas ARE funky looking! Today is a day I love the internet.

Chuck W said...

Aren't the lupine seeds called "chochos" or something similar? Man, I used to eat them by the handful. Not sure if I came out ahead calorie-wise (the protein coming in being counteracted by the ensuing dysentery, since they sit in vats of water on the street) but the salt fix was more than worth it.

Any mangoes in season? In December when we were there, a guy walked by the bus we were on selling golden mangoes. I bought a bag through the open window. Astonishing. Never eaten/seen/heard of such divinity before or since.

And, thanks to the peel, no dysentery.

hollyh54 said...

So glad you have moved into (hopefully) more permanent digs! I am so envious of such huge cabbages; are you going to try to grow a garden yourselves? The guabas sound delicious; gotta check out their look. Glad you got a bike ride in!
Still loving all your posts.

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