Pawpaw at Peka Peka

We’re growing Mountain Pawpaw (Vasconcellea pubescens) at Peka Peka and while the fruit are still little, the fragrance of the many tiny green flowers is glorious. We have our fingers crossed that these gems will ripen into 10-12cm fruit laden with papain (digestive enzymes) and tasting of pineapple and pawpaw.

Speaking of glorious fragrance, the mighty San Pedro is still flowering. While blooming for just a few days, they smell of feijoa and frangipani. One of my enduring memories of Peka Peka is being tucked up inside during a howling February southerly and the dissonance of San Pedro’s tropical fragrance pervading a cold house. I’d picked all the flowers as they don’t do well in the rain.

So, now I know why it pays to wait until figs are properly ripe. If you imagine the taste of dried fig but with more caramel and utterly succulent, then you’re getting close. I’m not doing it justice. D.H. Lawrence does an infinitely better job with this poem.

The proper way to eat a fig, in society,
Is to split it in four, holding it by the stump,
And open it, so that it is a glittering, rosy, moist, honied, heavy-petalled four-petalled flower.

Then you throw away the skin
Which is just like a four-sepalled calyx,
After you have taken off the blossom, with your lips.

But the vulgar way
Is just to put your mouth to the crack, and take out the flesh in one bite.

Every fruit has its secret.

Breakfast of Growers

Fresh fig and lemon verbena tea.

A breakfast not so much of champions, but growers. At least we’re learning to grow.

The fig possibly could have been even MORE delicious if I’d left it on the tree for a few more days… But I just. Couldn’t. Wait. I rationalised my decision to pick it on the basis that the birds might get it (although fortunately, touch wood, they’ve shown no sign of getting at this particular tree) or that it might fall of the tree and get smushed. So, in all it’s luscious sweetness, we ate it.

Postscript. Lunch. A single ugly strawberry, foraged by Adam. First one we’ve managed to get before the birds (who are most definitely enjoying the strawberries), he says it tastes like his grandfathers strawberries in California.