Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Gallery - Still Life

It's soft fruit season now. Yum yum yum. The strawberries are over already, cherries came in about 10 days ago & now the peaches & apricots have appeared. I never ate apricots in England. They always seemed to have that 'floury' texture & no taste. The peaches often went from hard to mouldy without passing through 'ripe' at any stage. It's one of the things I love about living here; the fruit & veg is Sooooooooo tasty & fairly organic in the sense of little use of pesticides (I do, however, try not to think about the industrial wastes that may still be in the water table from the communist era. Birth defects round the steel factory in Elbasan, run off from the arsenic factory near Lezhe......)

Eating is very 'seasonal' here. It makes for much more anticipation & appreciation as you wait for the first cherries, but can mean winter is rather bleak & 'cabbage' & 'spinach' focused

The new democrat party that took over from the communist party (with quite a few 'converted' communist party members, who had curiously & suddenly 'seen the light', joined the democrats, & what do you know, stayed in power......) introduced a 'Year Zero'. They wanted to start everything afresh. Sadly this meant throwing the baby out with the bath water & the good went along with the bad. This included cutting down most of the countries fruit trees, because of the hated 'forced labour' . However 18 years post communism, they have re-emerged & yummy soft fruits are back on the menu.

Below is how I do a lot of my shopping. Anything to avoid driving in Tirana. A bag on each handlebar - something you were always taught NEVER to do in cycling proficiency courses because it unbalanced you, & a rucksack which goes everywhere with me in case I spot a grocery item not found elsewhere. I tend to have to cobble my shopping together from different shops & parts of the city. The tennis racquet was because I had been playing tennis & went straight out to shop, not because I am training for a circus act.


Almost American said...

The difference between floury apricots from the supermarket and really fresh apricots is just amazing! Fresh, local, i.e. in-season fruit that hasn't travelled far, is SO much better than the stuff that's been shipped halfway across the world!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Real fruit that wasn't picked before it was ripe - priceless. It actually tastes of something!!

nappy valley girl said...

Beautiful pictures - makes me want to go and eat apricots right now. You have a real talent for still life!

Iota said...

Great photos. And yes, isn't there just all the difference in the world between fruit as we know it, and proper fruit.

PantsWithNames said...

Lovely pictures.

I miss the fresh produce especially this time of year. Shopping in the supermarkets here is NOT the same and not enjoyable and the fruit doesn't taste nearly as nice. Although I do liek the seedless grapes.