Roll out for the mystery fruit. Step right this way.
Yesterday, John, Phoebe and I took the train into town to attend the Cambridge Carnival International, a primarily Caribbean street festival in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
We got there a bit on the early side, so things were pretty tame when we arrived. Things got quite a bit more crowded as the afternoon progressed, though. There were lots of international food vendors there, which was exciting. (The vegetarian options were somewhat limited though. We ended up getting some so-so Indian food that had probably been cooked the day before.) We mostly spent the time at the festival wandering back and forth, taking some pictures, listening to the music, and looking at people. There were lots of non-food vendors, too, mostly in stalls. I went wild and got a tattoo. Well, I went very moderately wild and got a temporary tatoo. (Anyone want to guess what image I chose?)
At some point, we wandered past a woman selling mangos and some other kind of fruit, sitting on a chair in the road median with a stack of boxes. There was a little ring of people around her, buying this green fruit. I couldn’t identify the fruit as we walked past. Later, I noticed people walking around eating this fruit, and saw some green rinds on the ground (scattered among the bits of sugar cane that people had gnawed on). Towards the end of our festivating, I walked past this fruit woman again. There was no crowd this time. I watched her crack one of the green fruits open in her fingers, and pop the fleshy fruit insides of it into her mouth. She then rolled it around in her mouth a bit. I was intrigued.
“How much are they?” I asked, avoiding trying to name them. I didn’t ask their name. In part to seem as if I knew what I was doing, in part to keep the mystery. I bought a baggie of them for 3 dollars.
I’ve eaten a couple of them, still without knowing what they are. They are sweet with a slight bitterness to them, that reminds me a bit of underripe bananas, and which left my tongue feeling slightly furry and numb. The fruit is almost all pit, explaining why the woman rolled it in her mouth. It seems you sort of suck on the pit, and chew the fruit off. They are about the size of a walnut, with a rind that comes off easily, and that resembles a lime peel.
In related news, today was farm day for me once more. Meaning I headed back to the farm for my week’s CSA share. Like last week, the share included 10 pounds of tomatoes. I have been working on last week’s tomato haul, but still have quite a few left. (By the way, my photo of last week was of only a portion of the tomatoes.)
Here are my remaining tomatoes of last week, probably about 4 pounds. (Note: the small person standing in the photo is not a tomato.):
Below is this week’s full 10 pounds. (Not including last weeks remnants.) They include a lot more yellow and orange varieties. (Notice the large, orange brain-shaped one on the right?)
I also got some husk tomatoes, which were an exciting discovery for me. They were pick-your-own, and I opted out of them last week due to Phoebe’s mood. But I went solo today, and decided to pick-my-own. We could gather a pint total of cherry tomatoes and husk tomatoes. The farm apprentice gave me the low down on the picking before I headed to the fields, including the details the husk tomatoes are ripe when the husks are brown, and the ones that have already fallen on the ground are often the best.
I decided to try the husk tomatoes first, as I was curious. (I’m always game to try a new fruit or veggie.) I tasted the first one I found, and wow! Them’s good eatin’! I decided to gather my whole pint of husk tomatoes. These are tiny little things, though they seem to grow in other sizes, too. Each is the size of a large blueberry, and is wrapped in a little balloon of husk. They taste very sweet, more like a berry or a currant than a tomato. (Tomatoes are berries, after all.) These may also be the same fruit that is known as a ground cherry, and are akin to tomatillos.
These are the husk tomatoes I picked. I put in an averaged sized regular red tomato for scale. (Note that the plate in this photo is a smaller plate than the ones used in the big tomato photos above.)