Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Paho in Brine
I grew up with no concept of seasonal eating. I blame this on the fact that I don’t have four distinct seasons. Ok, there may have been other reasons, but leave a girl to her illusions.
Over here we have two seasons: Wet (rainy) and Dry (summer…i.e. superduperhot). In truth, I really have no factual evidence to back up my theory other than having two less seasons must have some sort of effect on our agriculture. And this effect must have somehow caused me to totally ignore any change in fresh produce during my tender years. And as such, I blithely ate anything I wanted, whenever I wanted, for most of my life.
Then one particularly hot summer I found myself in Dijon, France looking for (well, what else would I be looking for in the capital of Burgundy?) beef bourguignon. Oops. Yes, French chef sets island girl to rights. You can just imagine.
My first response was rebellion. What?! I actually had to wait to eat something??? Why? My home’s wet-dry cycle didn’t really explain as much as, say, a summer-winter-spring-fall cycle could. But slowly I learned. I’m learning to be more sensitive to what is at it’s best and when. I scour the internet for information on our local produce’s seasonality. I pay attention at the market to things that seem to be in glorious abundance while others suddenly go in hiding. I also check out local food magazines and market blogs for the latest on what’s in season now (you know, just like fashion).
And it was while checking on one of my favorite local blogs that I found this! Paho! Complete with his “at the markets now!” heralding…designed to get us running to the nearest market. Paho is a small mango (sold green) that is a species all on its own, not a baby mango picked before it’s full grown. You can read more about it here. It is unforgiving in the sour department, making your lips pucker up and your eyes squint in what looks like pain, but is really pleasure, trust me. They also have a heartbreakingly short season (from a few weeks to a month!) so I was wasting no time. I rushed out at first opportunity to go and be seasonal! Wooo!
I really like paho (brined paho was a favorite in my grandmother’s house when I was little)…so don’t think I was just trying to be fashionably seasonal…though I am human most of the times, fashionable some of the times, so I do succumb once in a while ;)
I brined my paho as per instructions here. They now sit in my fridge waiting for the perfect opportunity to bust out in all their beguiling sourness…
What’s next in my basket this season? Strawberries! Mangoes!
What’s in season at your market now? :)
This is my entry to this week's Weekend Herb Blogging, created by Kalyn atKalyn's Kitchen and hosted this week by Green Olive Tree!