My thoughts and experiences on food and wine and other things

Tree of Life. And not by “Bonne Maman” (late edition)

In Blablabla, Food, Travel on November 7, 2010 at 23:42

Adansonia Digitata , Tree of Life , Sacred Tree, Judas Fruit or Upside Down Tree , associated with the great adventure of “Le Petit Prince” from Saint Exupery’s tale that demonstrate by figure of speech that small things also need to be “taken care of” before it is too late … also commonly known as Baobab.

Today , its “Pulp” or “Flesh” is found in jars as Baobab Jam. interesting isn’t it?! I feel obliged to add this exclusive item to my pantry, playing with its name by adding it to a recipe such as Baobab Marshmallow or Macaron following a recipe in my library and using it as substitute  to “Dulce de Leche” or Milk Jam that it normally requires. It is tangy, a little creamy and unctuous without being too sweet.

I like it, it is in no way leaving any after taste , although ,not as flavoursome as a Strawberry or as a Juicy Starking Apple would be , but hey, I am here to report, “blab” about things and other bits, and I find interesting that the longest living tree on earth has a culinary purpose and so many various uses , in an almost religious way…

The tree has indeed many anecdotes surrounding it, such as ….by being so large and sometimes hollow, it has been used as a jail cell or bus stop or even a bar…..amusing ins’t it. Although sometimes , human absurdity has brought along the idea of carving its inside to give place to such things and therefore making these amusing facts not as natural as one might want it to be. (i know I may be a bit of a kill joy…sometimes, but good cause is my only motivation, it is my way of reminding that behind what we might find beautiful, gorgeous and cute , sweet ,and in this case amusing , there is a story , a reason where man has once more forced mother nature with the help of one of his sharp and ready made tools).

Little fact on the Baobab: When adult, It flowers in average every two years and is pollinated by fruits bats.

Its bark is used for the making of ropes , harness, fishing lines, nets and baskets, roof tiles when flattened , hats  …and is eaten  not only by animals but also in salads, raw or toasted….by using various techniques it is a substitute  for coffee by roasting or for the making of lemonade when mixed with water rich in vitamin C, thus ending with a smoothie like texture drink .

Items fascinates me, when it comes to being of an original or Un-Orthodox (as we would say with no religious affiliation) fashion, always here in its original state but presented to me (us) in a very dramatic way, by its history, origin and originality.

Rarity is also a factor that would make my mind go all fuzzy, my heart rate increase and my mouth drying to the point of excitement that I would no longer allow myself taking any time, off my course or for a simple sip of water and would become and keep myself all focused on what I would name “my mission”……but it seems as described in previous episodes of my “debacles” that everything comes in pairs , that the increase of their size of large (very large) supermarkets , naming themselves now Hypermarkets and changing the all dynamics of how our life are being affected, how our shopping culture is taking form and our eating habits are constantly evolving , changing …in a way , progressing! (?) but coming out of this all complex analogie of mine is a realisation that alongside, there is good there are people ‘fighting and believing’ by giving all they have within , creating and coming up with new ideas, this is (beside Jamie’s) another kind of revolution, it is evolution.

Out of this we are seeing products on our shelves like the Wild Hibiscus Flower in syrup, practical I do not know but most definitely beautiful and elegant in a champagne cocktail or set into the perfect jelly, in a double walled glass , topped with twists and sparkles.

I feel now that my computer has finally given me the opportunity to end this exercise ,that I have let you down by not mentioning any of the Indian sweets or curries that have made us all drool with envy and for the one and only I have received praise and comments. (thank you all for that) however, I may bring to life tonight by mentioning and deliberating about the one and only …The Mango

There are 9 varieties of Mango in India (Alphonso , Ratnagiri , Devgadh , Kesar , Batli , Langdo , Payri , Rajapuri , Tota), all more delicious than the other  , not all are found in the Uk but the two main ones are the Alphonso and of course the Kesar…..The other attendant to the “Throne” has to be coming from Pakistan (banned in the United States due to “restrictions on agricultural imports”), thinner and ‘oblong’ shape , it’s very intense flavour would make anyone fall for it, sooo sweet and juicy , I never bought a box of it and found myself disappointed, however in the summer in Brittain, buying a ripe peach or a perfect nectarine feels more like a witch hunt in comparison. That is how much they are loved, nothing is left aside, each fruit is individually wrapped and carefully placed in boxes over hay , not too against one another so not so much for bruising.

Lassi, sambals, salsas, salads, dressings , juices,Kulfi (ice cream) all is done with this divine sunshine lookalike yellow/orangey fruit.

When taken out of its box, the ripe almond shape “kernel” , so sweet , let come out what seems to be the sap (la seve en Francais) a sign rarely seen but on the tronc of bleeding or bursting pine trees in the “Pinede” behind my Grand Mothers house in the Var region. For me this has simply become a criteria in my selection for one of my favourite way of ending a simple meal, by blending it with natural yoghurt or simply spooning its soft and delicate flesh out of its leathery skin before finding myself taking this blissful voyage and making sure that I let all the time in the world go by so I may savour every mouthful.

This is also London , my other London


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