Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

The citron,
Il cedro,
Sunshine of my resolutions

January 12, 2011

Slices of citron sprinkled with white sugar, Debra Solomon,

To encourage success in completing difficult, unrealistic New Year’s resolutions (like daily blogging and yoga practice), I tend to spike my list with easily attainable, readily achievable, things that happen anyway. Usually these resolutions occupy the esoteric slash culinary realm, like learning to brew beer (2011), or the domestic slash procrastination realm, like learning to knit socks (2010: time consuming yet enlightening). Sometimes my resolutions even occupy a strange category of ancient and exotic craftsmanship, no longer of any real value in the modern world. (Yes, in 2008 I did in fact improve my handwriting, but only for that specific year, and in 2009 I resolved to quit this archaic practice forthwith.)

A recurring favourite, easy as falling off a horse, is the resolution to taste each new fruit and vegetable that crosses my path, somehow still unbeknownst to me. Not even two weeks into the new calendar and I’m already done. This year it’s the citron, bought from a roadside vendor here in Sicily. A bit of rooting around and I discovered that this variety is the Diamante not deemed fabulous enough for use as an etrog but delicious none the less.

Slice of citron, held up against the Sicilian light, dripping with juice, Debra Solomon,

The citron (citrus medica) has in the past been popular for all manner of pharmaceutical, beveragological, confectionary, and perfumerical uses, here il cedro is thinly sliced and sprinkled with white sugar, which draws out the sweet and sour juices of pith and pulp. After allowing time to marinate a bit you eat the slices for dessert. It’s the combination of the green melon-like fleshy pith, the citron’s ragion d’essere, with the hyper-aromatic essential oil infused outer rind, and the juicy sweet and sour pulp, that makes it such a refreshing pleasure to eat. Our friends here keep telling us that it’s heavy on the digestion, but I am learning to occasionally disregard the questionable culinary authority of vegetable torturers and obsessive compulsive pasta eaters.

Slice of citron, held against the Sicilian light, dripping with juice, Debra Solomon,

And inadvertently it seems that I’ve made a blog entry, though I dare not utter which category of New Year’s resolution that this action occupies. 2010 was an incredibly busy year spent initiating the project of my dreams in the realm of urban agriculture. 2011 promises more of the same, but I begin yet again, with the best of intentions to afford myself some time each week to reflect and write about the work of URBANIAHOEVE; Social Design Lab for Urban Agriculture, which is hopefully interesting to the remaining readers of this blog.

Happy New Year!

debra at 13:51 | Comments (8) | post to

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