Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Cherries and peacan nuts

Working from home on Thursday has many advantages. I don't need to get up at the break of dawn (5.45 a.m.). No need to get the car out and lose time in slow moving traffic. And ... having the opportunity to visit our weekly outdoor market. I either go early in the morning, before starting work, or at half past eleven, before my lunch break, just before the vendors start packing up. When I need fish, I try to call in early, to be sure that the produce I want - grey shrimps or Dover sole - aren't sold out. But it's also a great place to buy these:

Peacan nuts ... until three years ago
I didn't even know what they were and how good they taste.

And - when in season - these:

Plump and very juicy cherries.

There is a story attached to these two food items, which I discovered and started to appreciate thanks to people I met through this blog.

The 'cherry story' goes back to 2009, when my friend and I visited with Susan and Simon, whose blog I had discovered the previous winter. We met for drinks at their house and then had lunch together in a 'ferme-restaurant'. When dessert came - a large bowl of fresh cherries - Susan and Simon almost had a fit! Their orchard had been producing so many cherries that they were really sick and tired of seeing and eating them. At the time, I was not a big fan of red fruit/berries. But I dutifully obliged, eating my share of the bowl. I still didn't like them then, however they seem to have grown on me and for the last three year I've enjoyed several kilo's when they are in season. On Thursday I bought one kilo from a young man who was also selling juicy blackberries. 

Peanuts have been part of my regular diet for the last three years too. They were 'introduced' to me by blog readers Bob and Pat who live in Georgia (US). When they visited Europe three years ago, we arranged to meet at the Grand' Place in Brussels for drinks. They came bearing gifts: a superb photo book featuring the US' most beautiful nature spots and ... a pound of peacan nuts. The nuts, although similar to walnuts, surprised me, and it was with some hesitation that I tasted one, ... an another one, and yet another ... I just couldn't stop eating. When I wrote to my friends that I had really enjoyed the nuts, they kindly sent me another pound for Christmas! Later I found out that I can also them at our local supermarket. They come in 150 gr. bags and are rather expensive. Luckily at the market we now have a stall selling all kinds of nuts, olives, spices, dates, dried fruit ... where every fortnight I stock up on peacan nuts. I love nibbling them when I'm working from home or writing blog posts :).

I therefore would like to dedicate this post to Susan and Simon, and Bob and Pat. Without the, I probably would never had come to appreciate these gorgeous and healthy fruits.


Susan said...

Simon didn't eat cherries either until we grew our own. For him, cherry flavour was associated with medicines.

Nadege said...

Pecans and cherries are delicious, so are the pies. Susan, I can relate to Simon because I cannot drink root beer. It reminds me of mouthwash.

Jean said...

One of the things I love about the markets around Le Grand-Pressigny is the abundance of cherries for a sensible price.
Even when they are in season a small punnet is expensive in the UK.
Pecan nuts are also very expensive, usually sold in small packets for baking, so I only buy them occasionally, as a special treat.

Bob said...

I had not realized that you had never eaten pecans before. Glad I was able to introduce them to you. We just call them pecans not pecan nuts. You should try and bake a few with butter and salt. They are very expensive in the US, so I can't imagine what they cost in Belgium.

Niall & Antoinette said...

love cherries and love pecans [and sinfully nice pecan pie]
I miss are macademia nuts which are difficult to find here in France -- well I have trouble anyway.

ladybird said...

Susan, I usually associate dried prunes with cough medicine :)

Nadege, I've never tried root beer, and have no intention to try it now that you've mentioned this.

Jean, The local cherries are affordable here. When they are imported they are slightly more expensive, but still worth the money.

Bob, Yes, the peacans were new to me. Thank you for introducing me to them, though, as they are delicious and very healthy. I eat at least a handfull every day and am feeling much better for it.

N&A, I'll have a look out for macademia nuts at our market, the next time I plan a Loire Valley trip.