Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Trying to describe something unusual

yamamomo, originally uploaded by irodoramatic burnorama.

I have a very hard time trying to describe something simple like a fruit. What brings this up, of course is that I want to describe to you the yamamomo. The name is deceiving: it means “mountain peach.” As the rhyme will tell you, “Sumomo mo momo mo momo no uchi.” Plums (sour peaches or vinegar peaches) and peaches are kinds of peaches. I think that if we were to make a new line for the tongue twister, it might go like this: “Sumomo mo momo mo momo no uchi, yaken, yamamomo ga momo no soto.” I guess you could argue it both ways. They are vaguely similar in the way that when you bite into them, they do have a slightly plum-ish flavour and you can see that the flesh does indeed grow outward from the pit in a similar way to a plums’ or peach’s does. However, there are things that would make it difficult for you to put them in the same group. For one, similar to the way a raspberry is one berry made up of many “fruit chunks” a yamamomo (aka mirika) is made up of hundreds of almost fibrous fruit threads that give its skin a lizard skin-like pattern. The mirika when ripe ranges in size from about the size of a blackberry to the size of a very small strawberry or average cherry. The pit is about as big as a cherry-pit, but the flesh sticks to it with the same resilience as a peach’s. So you with a largish pit and the way that the flesh on it grows, you are denied most of the satisfying feeling of biting into a juicy fruit. And when they are sweet, they are indeed quite sweet, but in a slightly sour kind of way. They also have a kind of dryness about them, in the same way that one calls choke-cherries dry. But not that dry. Just a little dry. And then the flavour. So I have said it tastes a little plum-ish, and is a little dry like choke-cherries, but it also has a kind of red-grape-ishness to it as well as some of the falvour one might equate with a blackberry. One way or the other, it has an undeniable wildness of flavour to it, and that is a large part of the appeal.


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