Sunday, May 29, 2011

The food of Jordan: Part II.

Even in the midst of winter Jordan has some staple fruits and vegetables that are harvested year round in the Jordan valley. Tomatoes and cucumbers will never be missing at the greengrocer. Same applies to zucchini and eggplants the size of your palm. The weather is mild down there in the valley. The only unstable thing is the amount of rain falling each winter which has an influence on the price of said staples.
(Sometimes, when the temperature pick up, watermelons reach the markets extra early. Like this year. Yes, I am already munching on ripe, sweet watermelons while oranges are still in season too.)

Stone fruit, on the other hand, isn't grown in the Jordan valley. And therefore has to follow the seasons. In a way.
"Green cherries" are in season now. No, they aren't really cherries, as you can see.
"Green Cherries"

It's what the locals call them. And after some research, some picture searches and some questioning, I have come to the conclusion that Jordanians like to nibble on unripe Mirabelle plums. And there I was assuming this variety doesn't exist to begin with.

My husband confirmed that, later in the season, these same sized plums will be very sweet and of a yellowish orange.
I am not sure why they eat them unripe. They are very tart and sour but, somehow, not in an unpleasant way. The sweet flavor of plums can already be recognized, albeit very faintly.
I am curious to see these again in a couple of weeks, ripe and juicy. 

And now I am off to eat some watermelon to offset the sour "green cherries".

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