Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Unexpected gifts...

It's one of the twice weekly Casa Guatemala days today. The visit from the store run in aid of the local orphanage that delivers fresh fruit and a selection of frozen meats and dairy products to the boaters scattered around the Rio.

We have been customers as long as we have been here. The pork they sell is exceptional and I enjoy trying out my appalling Spanish on the ever patient Jose and Esperanza who roll their eyes at my dreadful pronunciation and politely laugh at my weak jokes!

It is only recently that they have started to bring along fresh fruit and the odd veggie for our delight but it is a great success. Strawberries, papaya, pineapple, grapes and sometimes one of those unidentified tropical fruits that cause me to wrinkle my nose and ask questions....

I will try anything on the culinary front so they delight in breaking open something new and watching my reactions as I tentatively nibble the fruit. Mostly its great but just occasionally I struggle to suppress a grimace..

This morning Jose was enjoying a small yellow plum like fruit that he peeled and offered me, it was lovely, really sweet and succulent. I shall be looking out for that in the market later in the week.
As I was leaving Esperanza beckoned me back and held out a peculiar drab brown offering, about the size of a large avocado.

' Sapota', she said.
Oh for me?, I asked,
Si un regalio(a present)

How sweet! By now some of the other boaters had regrouped to see what was going on and Esperanza dug out another fruit pulled it apart and offered it to the crowd...I tried a bit first, sort of sweetish and dense, not too good to be honest. The others pulled back and pointed out the wriggling maggots in the fruit. Yuch! I discretely grinned and thanked Esperanza for the gift and rushed to check that I didn't have any maggots stuck between my teeth....


alternate names: Mamey colorado

Characteristics: The dark brown exterior and shape of this fruit make it look like a giant almond, but inside, there's a fragrant, rosy pink-orange flesh, which gets creamy, smooth, and sweet, like sweet potatoes, when ripe. Unlike many other fruits and vegetables that find suitable growing environments throughout the world, mamey remains in the New World, grown throughout South America, the Caribbean, and in Florida. Although mamey is typically eaten raw, its culinary applications are expanding; it's used to flavor ice creams, shakes, and desserts such as flan and mousse. Final note: It's pronounced "mah-MAY sa-PO-tay."

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