Sunday, September 27, 2009


When I was young my mother took me many times to Italy. These were trips home to see her mother, my grandmother, who lived in Foggia and we spent many weeks at the nearby seaside resort of Siponto.

I only mention this because I bought some cactus fruit yesterday, and it reminded me of these trips. I'm talking about the early fifties, when there were two types of beach vendor, one sold fresh coconut and the other fichi d'India. This guy would walk along the beach shouting in the local dialect what sounded like 'figidindi'. He carried a bucket of these cactus fruits and would peel them for you so that you didn't get near the lethal thorns that cover the outside of the fruit. In France they're called figues de barbarie.
They have a light, fragrant flavour but be careful not to bite on the seeds which get stuck in your teeth.
A little trip down memory lane.

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