Tis the season

Tis the season

I have a love / hate relationship with seasonal fruits here in Lebanon.  I hate that making fresh peach cobbler is impossible unless it’s August or September.

But on the other hand, there is not much better than buying local, in-season fruit.  You can’t beat the prices and eating fruit that was picked just days before… delicious.

You can tell the month of the year much quicker by the fruit being sold on carts around the city than the temperature.  (90 degrees in May… really, Beirut?!?)  Ashta, clementine, avocado, strawberry seasons are all past.  Soon we’ll get cherries, plums and the most amazing peaches.

Right now, it’s jeneric time.  Bite sized green plums that are crunchy and very sour.  I think most people eat them with salt, but Isla and Caleb are happy to munch away on them as is.


I’m not a big fan.  All I taste when I eat them is the wasted potential of what could have been an amazing, sweet, juicy plum!  :)  But I like when I see the carts full of these little green plums because it means summer is just around the corner!

Not an artichoke

Not an artichoke

This is an artichoke.

This is not.

A couple weeks ago, a blogger friend of mine posted a picture of this fruit.  I’ve been seeing it everywhere, but always thought it was an artichoke!  A few days later another friend was asking me if we’d ever eaten them, so I thought it was high time we tried this not-an-artichoke.. also known as annona, cherimoya or in Arabic, ashta.

So good.

You know the fruit is ready when it is fairly soft and you can split it open with your hands.  It’s full of black seeds that you have to eat around, but the fruit is super sweet.  It tastes like a very exotic pear.

As much as I enjoy artichokes, I’m so glad to discover that this is not one!  (Thanks, Hasan!)

My brilliant idea three months too late

My brilliant idea three months too late

Fruits and vegetables in Lebanon are very seasonal.  We were actually a bit overwhelmed when we went to a grocery store in the States last month and saw ALL of the fruits available at the same time!

We have wonderful fruits here during the summer… peaches, plums, cherries, strawberries… and all for a really good price.  But once the season is over, you are hard pressed to find a single strawberry at the veggie stands, and if you are lucky enough to find one, you will pay an arm and a leg for it.

The winters are tough.  Oranges, oranges, oranges.  Now, I like oranges, but variety is good in life too.  I miss good fruits in the winter.

Right now it is apple, persimmon and avocado season.  You can generally find avocados year round, but they are imported, not ripe and super expensive.  But right now, they are only $2 a kilo.  So being a good guacamole lover, I bought three kilos to smash up and freeze so we can have guac whenever we want for the next few months.

Cue sound of palm smacking forehead!

Why in the world didn’t I think of this sooner??? Even in the midst of all my cutting, steaming, pureeing and freezing fruits and veggies for Isla, it didn’t even cross my mind to freeze some fruits for us for the winter!  I feel like that lazy grasshopper who had to beg from the ant because he played all summer (is that the right story?).  Anyways, I’m totally bummed I didn’t think of this three months ago, but am taking advantage of my brilliant idea as much as I can now.  I currently have 3 kilos of avocado, 2 pumpkins and a whole lot of apples to be frozen.  Pumpkin pie with a side of guacamole, anyone???

On an only sort of related note, here’s what Isla thinks of the pumpkins…