Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Grenadilla in London

I've been a little homesick for London. I miss that alternate universe! Sometimes it seems like it was all a wonderful dream...

Anyway, enough with the sentimental nonsense. Two summers ago, I lived in Quito, Ecuador for three months. While there, I got to experience fresh "exotic" fruit firsthand. I introduced my pallet to a lot of new produce, and some received a warmer reception than others. My favorite new fruit, hands down, was the grenadilla, or the "grenade" as we gringas chose to call it. While in the little village of Hampstead, on the outskirts of north London, I ran across an exotic fruit store that displayed out front, you'll never guess, grenadillas. These are so extraordinary, and there they were in Hampstead Heath! So of course, I had to buy one, and Rebecca and Kate each bought one too because, well, why not? Here's a picture of what this sweet little gem looks like:
Mmmm, right? I know, I know, it looks disgusting. The fruit looks like an orange grenade. The shell is pretty stiff, and sounds hollow when you thump your finger against it. Then break it open, and whoa! "What is this?" In Ecuador, we affectionately called the seed sacs "monkey brains," or "mocos" ("snot" in Spanish). You just have to go for it. You slurp out about, mmm, 10 sacs, and swish 'em around, break all the lining, get the sweet, sweet juice, and spit the seeds. Or swallow if you want. Makes for interesting bathroom experiences later. Here's a photo of moi enjoying my grenadilla inglesa on a park bench. Ay, !que rica fue!

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