Saturday, January 26, 2008

My Favorite Fruit

No, not any of you dears-- it's the blood orange. They're just coming into full flavor right now. I squeeze orange juice every morning we're in Northridge-- imagine. Now you'll all want to stay here!

When a blood orange is good, the taste is dreamy-- oranges and raspberries and more. But not like the raspberry taste wine people talk about-- this genuinely tastes like the best raspberries ever.

I planted a tree right outside the kitchen window. It totally obscures the view. Last year we had a huge crop with not much flavor. This year we have a small crop with huge oranges loaded with flavor. Are bees fickle? I have no idea.

The trick is in the harvesting, for us. The oranges hang there on the tree getting heavier and heavier and it takes great restraint not to pick them early. And if you're not careful, along will come the unannounced Blood Orange Day for Crows, and the Valley Crows will all descend and eat them up- VOOP- in one day- no more oranges. And it's a lot of work for a crow to pick and eat an orange I'd think. They leave the shells scattered about. How do they know when those oranges are ready? How does the word get out?

When I first saw them in a market many years ago, labelled "blood orange" I thought, "eww, sick must be some strange religious thing." And now I'm converted.

Got a favorite fruit?


sal said...

I guess we don't see many blood oranges in the stores here. I think perhaps raspberries might be my favorite, then any other berries, followed by mangoes.

Katy said...

How long from planting the tree to its bearing fruit? I'm in a cold house in super cold weather, downright envious of your paradise, where fruit is allowed to ripen on the branch.

Mean Jean said...

Love the juicey picture. Crows like tomatoes too. They seem to have a language, you'll hear them yakking and clacking and making crackly noises and next thing ya know...your crop is decimated and they're sittin' in the trees picking their teeth.

Namowal said...

Favorite fruit? That's hard to say- probably peaches. Then again, there's pineapples, oranges, strawberries, melons... pretty much every fruit except figs.
I like blood oranges too. In 1987 I planted a little blood orange tree (by the kitchen door!)at my parents house. They were hard to find at the supermarket and I wanted a steady supply. That tree didn't make it, but an apple tree I planted at the same time is now taller than I am.

Sally said...

Sal, I love berries and mangoes too. Mangoes can be sublime. Another favorite of mine is black plums, when they're eat over the sink ripe.

You and Katy are both in the South. Do you ever get scuppernongs? My granmother used to send us a bushel and I loved those goofy grapes with their thick skin and luscious inside.

Katy, when I first moved to California I found all the citrus fruit on the trees very moving, this wonderful abundance. I just remember thinking that-- I don't get that thrill any more. Citrus trees, unlike apples or plums, can have fruit on them right from the nursery.

Mean Jean, loved your crow anecdote. We have remnants of a walnut orchard on our street, and the crows will throw walnuts in the street and wait for the cars to crack them. I'm quite fond of crows. They also will sound an alert when a hawk's nearby.

Linda said...

Sally, Tom is making waffles this morning and asked me to call you to ask if you could pick some of those blood oranges and FedEx them up to us immediately.

My favorite fruits come in the form of: orange Pez, cherry cough drops, lemon vodka.

sal said...

Oh, you mean muscadines. I think I have seen them growing. Pat remembers them fondly from his youth. I don't think I've ever eaten them. I think folks are more apt to find them wild, buy jam at a farmer's market, or make wine at home than buy them at the grocery store, though again I'm going to look today....

Jesse Thompson said...

Peaches, Apricots and Pears. Oh my!

I have heard that Crows are supposed to be the smartest avians in nature. They seem pretty sharp to me.

I wonder if you have one as a pet (Shawshank, Wonderful Life) could you teach it to do tricks?

Sally said...

Linda, when are you going to show us the revised food pyramid?

Jesse, I had a friend who kept a crow they'd found wounded, a broken wing. He could say a few words for peanuts, but was very shy generally.