The Strange Fruits of Casablanca

Every week, I try to bring a guest vegetable into my kitchen.  This past week I branched out and instead tried a new fruit: Kaki, also known as persimmon, and also as disgusting.  Kaki has a pretty good taste, but it has a weird chalky texture that makes you feel like you need to brush your teeth immediately.

ImageWhat?
A few weeks ago, my guest of honor was fennel.  I got it for free from the vegetable seller who probably thought I was ridiculous for being so perplexed by it.  Fennel is pretty funny-looking, but if you can look past appearances, it’s delicious in salads.
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Beets, sweet potatoes (native to Africa, not the same as American yams), green beans, cabbage, and eggplant have also made a debut in my kitchen.  Last week I had pomegranate in my morning yogurt, continuing with the fruit theme.  Next week, I am going to have my sister stay here as a guest instead of vegetables, which should be a much different situation.
IMG_3536
A beautiful but time-consuming fruit.
In the spirit of discovery that I’ve been enjoying here in Morocco, my boyfriend and I have been working on developing two original recipes: Eggsta and Magic Menu.  Eggsta is a whimsical combination of eggs and pasta, making a kind of swirled omelette.  We have been cautiously introducing more vegetables to the dish, one at a time.  Magic Menu, an equally droll creation, is a pudding-like dish made of couscous in leben (another mysterious food) that can be infused with a number of delicious fruit combinations.
This week, I have a super exciting holiday-related guest vegetable: pumpkin!  Cleaned out thanks to a team of hardworking kindergarteners who aren’t afraid of a little mess.  Got any pumpkin recipes?!
IMG_3574Some of us thought there would be pasta inside this guy (which would have been good for Eggsta!) but in fact he was filled with pumpkin.
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13 thoughts on “The Strange Fruits of Casablanca

  1. Thanks for visiting my blog. The active one at the moment is photobackstory. There’s not enough time to keep three blogs going. Happy Halloween. Pumpkins for carving (the most popular in the US) are not really for eating. I always thought so but have been told otherwise. For many years I made it to the Village Halloween Parade where it was said that as many as a million people lined the route to watch it. Big!
    Enjoy your adventures in Morocco. Eat your veggies?!

  2. I bought a persimmon in Marks and Spencer this morning. This one was from Israel, and smaller, but it was good. There are also fresh figs in M&S, I just never thought to buy them.

    • Hmmm, maybe there are other varieties of persimmon. I’ve heard that “vanilla” is better than what I ate, but I don’t really know what that means. Aren’t fresh figs wonderful? I especially like the purple ones.

  3. Have you risked a guava yet? Not much left when you scoop out the seeds, but great flavour and the juice is truly yummy (easier to buy it already squeezed). There’s only one thing to do with a pumpkin – soup! Chopped onions, garlic, whatever leftover vegs are in the fridge, plus pumpkin as the main ingredient – I usually throw in a handful of lentils too. Cook long and slow, then blend – mmm … Serve with the best bread you can find and the boyfriend will probably propose! 🙂

  4. got fennel in my fridge and will probably make it tomorrow, it’s nice just steamed and then gratin under the grill with some parmesan and breadcrumbs.
    Kaki is delicious but is has to be ripe, otherwise like you say it has a chalky texture to the palate. the one in the picture above does not look ripe (it is too solid and uniform in colour) but ripe is very nice, we used to have a kaki plant in our garden back in Italy

  5. If you had visited me during the winter in Delhi, we would have eaten guavas. You can also eat them whole and swallow the seeds. Contrary to what dad used to say, that will not make a plant grow in your stomach. It will, however, make it very difficult to check for parasite eggs in your stool the next day.

    • I bet the mystery Indian/Barbary figs we ate in Rabat would have also made it difficult to find parasite eggs in our stool, but I think we didn’t really care. If they were to grow in my stomach, I wouldn’t have to worry about buying them! Too bad it’s only Mom who is always right….

  6. Fennel perplexes me too… it reminds me of a heart with aortas shooting out of it. Not the most appetizing way to think of food, I know, but it’s still delicious 🙂

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