Tuesday, May 21, 2019

MORNING GOLD

It is supposed to have been a Sicilian who said,

"Al mattino le arance sono d'oro, a pranzo d'argento e alla sera di piombo."  ("Oranges are gold in the morning, silver at lunchtime and lead in the evening.")


Whilst there seems to be some evidence that they can slow down the digestion the later in the day they are eaten, I have to admit that for me, they are always "gold"! In particular, my spremuta of fresh Sicilian orange juice in the morning, from November to February when the oranges are at their best, sets me up for the day. No self-respecting Sicilian bar owner would allow less than the finest spremuta to be served in his establishment, so  I bid a fond farewell to the juice at the end of February or, at the latest, mid-March. (This is why, when you visit Sicilian tourist sites in summer and see stalls offering spremuta, you won't see any Sicilian drinking it, because he or she will know that the oranges have either been imported or frozen.)

Imagine my surprise then, when this morning the local bar owner greeted me with,"This morning we have spremuta! They brought me oranges from Noto and they're good, so we are serving spremuta this week! But of course, when they offer me oranges from Spain, I don't take them."  There we have it: Oranges from Noto are OK but if they come with more food miles than that, they are rejected. And that is why this morning's spremuta tasted so good!



Whilst on the subject of fruit juice, if any of you have been to Sicily recently you may have noticed pomegranate juice on sale at tourist sites. The properties of the pomegranate have been rediscovered recently and there are companies producing excellent organic juice. But the fruit is out of season in summer so the juice, despite a few pomegrantes being on display, is unlikely to be freshly squeezed on the premises. Think about it - how much juice do you get out of a pomegranate if you try to squeeze one at home? There is nothing wrong with the commercial versions and they are very refreshing. They also make a passable, though non-traditional, granita.

But I'll stick to my "morning gold" while it lasts, thanks!

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