I did the weekly fruit and vegetable shop yesterday. At the entrance, they were advertising a new fruit called “Achachas.” I am always on the lookout for new things to throw into lunchboxes … it helps my kids think I am a cool mum, and believe me, I need all the help I can get. I popped six in the bag. This gorgeous, elderly Italian man approached me – you know the type who you wish was your great uncle? He launched into his shpiel about how he grows them, six was not enough…I should take a whole bag and he gave me a demonstration on how to eat them as in, “Mark it, Twist it, Pop it.” I happily accepted the bag he gave me and returned the six Achachas I could probably afford back to the pile. Another lady approached us and my Italian uncle recognised her and launched into a huge hug and kiss. I admit, I felt a bit jealous. She asked me how long I had known him for. “About one minute,” I replied sheepishly. She had known my Italian uncle for ever. No wonder I didn’t score a hug and kiss. My new lady friend however, directed me towards the sugar plums and told me I had to try them. Apparently they only come out this time of year and for a short time only. She spends the whole year waiting for her sugar plums (I suppose much the same way I spend the whole year waiting for gem squash season because Junior Son will eat anything I cook as long as it is covered in gem squash.)
When I was growing up, a plum was a plum was a plum. You bought one at the fruit shop or picked it off the neighbour’s tree. Senior Son requested that I buy some plums. Have you looked at the plums lately? Firstly, they practically need their own aisle – there are so many different types to choose from. Secondly, have you seen the names of those plums? I swear, they have been designed just to make kids eat them…At my local fruit shop alone, there were Sugar Plums, Sweet Plums, Teagan Blue Plums, Amber Jewel Plums, Black Cat Plums and Black Amber Plums. Designer plums especially for kids.
I was sure, of course, to pick up some Pink Lady apples for Husband and Sweet William pears for myself on the way to the counter. By now, there were crowds around the Achacha table and my Great Italian Uncle was entertaining them all. My family loved them and spent the night marking, twisting and popping. I will have to go back tomorrow and buy some more…just hope I qualify for a kiss and a hug this time.