Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Fresh fruit top-up - eat 'em while you can

In early June strawberries, then come the cherries in July, plums, blueberries and then raspberries; available everywhere - street corner fruit stalls, local shops, hypermarkets - and very cheap - prices as low as 6 zlotys (£1.30) a half-kilo punnet. It behoves us to eat them, indeed guzzle them in huge quantities, while they're here, to build up the immune system with natural vitamins before the onset of the darkness and the cold.

Full of Vitamin C, antioxidants and dietary fibre, raspberries are very healthy. And I am amazed to discover that Poland's the world's fourth largest producer of raspberries, just behind the USA.

Sold in deep papier-mâché punnets and with a short shelf-life, raspberries will often go mouldy from the bottom up. The consumer cannot see from the ones on the top what the bottom of the punnet looks like. I must say, that since Poland joined the EU, the quality of raspberries has improved, and the implementation of HACCP by fruit growers has meant one can fairly safely eat unwashed raspberries. If you wash them, they go off much more quickly. Other fruit I always wash - but raspberries rarely.

Above: A novelty on the market - punnets covered in cling-film. Stops customers picking at the content, but also I'd guess the greater humidity within the punnet leads to dampness and faster mould growth. I've picked out three mouldy raspberries; many more would be lurking beneath.

We're at the height of the season, but although prices will rise and there will be fewer street vendors selling them, we'll still have raspberries on sale until the first frosts of late autumn.

This time two years ago:
Molotov-Ribbentrop 70 years on


Anonymous said...

Today, I am mainly eating prunes - and boy are they super! I made the mistake of washing blackberries that were hanging over into my garden from some wild land beyond. Also, poking through railings from wild ground surrounding suburban railway stations! The ones I picked from the bushes overhanging my garden were no longer nice to eat as individual fruit, but were superb when pulped for jam and for yoghurt. Here's to the humble fruit of the hedges and of the garden thorns - eat at thy will for Winter's assured severity is but months away. All provided from bush to mouth with no market intervention!

Frater Vitae

Paddy said...

It's been a rather poor crop this season, I thought. On the other redcurrants are much more durable during more varied summers, and this year I thought were much nicer. I eat at least a kilo of porzeczki czerwony each week and my local stoiska (fruit seller) even has my phone number so I can pre order! These fruit stalls really are a delightful part of life in the capital and on a summer's day, returning home in the late afternoon sunshine with a bag of fresh berries from a local farm is a wonderful feeling.

Anonymous said...

Thinking about the onset of grim winter, a friend of mine sent me this wonderful quote by Camus -

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer "

A quote worthy enough to boost anyone's intellectual and spiritual immune system, methinks.

Frater Vitae

Anonymous said...

oooooo....looks as though it's time to make some Malinowka!!