Ramadan

Plums hold a place of honor in my Moroccan kitchen. The purple-skinned ones, with tart flesh, take time to ripen fully, so have time to grace a fruit bowl for more than a day. The best of the lot, though, were those served to me at a Moroccan friend’s home. She served plums so small, I mistook them for grapes. Everywhere, though, the appearance of luscious summer fruits in Morocco remind us of the luscious bounty of the season.

Fruit to celebrate summer

Sweet and toothsome, those tiny plums were a superb addition to our dessert bowl (which in fact, included enormous, plum-sized grapes. Later, when I happened on grape-like plums in the souk near my home, the sweeties lost no time in hopping into my shopping basket. What a discovery!

Aromatic, flowery, white-fleshed peaches abound at stands throughout the Fez Medina. Farmers’ trucks bring them in by the crate load and fruit stands groan under the sweet bounty. The challenge is to figure out what to do with kilos of peaches before they rot.

Ramadan
Fruits of a Moroccan summer–plums and peaches!
Ramadan
Peaches, plump and juicy, at a market stall in Fez, Morocco
 
Here are two tasty ideas for peaches and nectarines, involving zero cooking:
  • Cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle with lemon to keep the flesh from turning dark. Serve over unsweetened yogurt or with English biscuits and fresh, mild and fluffy goat cheese.
  • Add peaches to juice drinks, tossed into a blender with cooked carrots and freshly squeezed orange juice. Throw in a few spearmint leaves to add flecks of minty green, and top each glass with a mint sprig.

…and then there are prickly pears

These popular fruits are called prickly with good reason! In summer, prickly pears appear on every corner, stacked on wooden trays in sun and shade. Vendors use idle moments to painstakingly remove the spines, and at time of sale, peel the fruit and hand it over, seedy and juicy. Trying to wrangle one of these as I walk down Tala Kabira, there is no place to hide, no place to spit, except in the street.

The squishy grenades are quite different from the prickly pear “paddles” I’ve had in Texas or Mexico: sturdy nopales ready to slice into strips and stir into eggs or Mexican dishes. Sorry to say, I’m not a fan. A cooling drink like this recipe published on The View from Fez seems the better way to go!

prickly pears
Prickly pears for sale in Fez, Morocco
prickly pears
Prickly pears pose for the camera in Fez, Morocco

Fruits to celebrate a Moroccan summer –plums, peaches, and prickly pears!

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1 COMMENT

  1. Great photos! Makes me feel like I'm there. And I never thought of putting mint in a blender drink–I'll try it.

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