As I started planning my garden this year, it occurred to me just how few varieties are available in this city anymore.
I thought about some of the fruits that I grew up eating as a child, fruits that flavored my youth but don’t seem to be around much these days for my granddaughter’s generation. These are the ones that I miss most.
Do not, I repeat DO NOT try to eat these raw or under ripe! They’re awful! and if not fully ripe, might make you sick. But when fully ripe, huckleberries make pies and jams of which a child’s summer memories are made.
They look like, and are closely related to, tomatillos. Very easy to grow and will replant themselves and come back year after year. They taste a little like plums with a slight tomato (another relative) aftertaste. My granddaughter loves them straight from the vine. They are also tasty cooked in a variety of ways and make good jam.
Also called mango melon, this relative of the cucumber can be a little temperamental, but patience and perseverance will be rewarded. In addition to fresh eating, they make good pickles, chutneys and jams.
This little gem is more a treat for your other senses. The taste is mildly sweet and rather bland. They do make a tasty and novel addition to a fruit salad or compote. But the fragrance! The aroma of one tigger sitting on a plate can fill a room. In fact, women used to carry them in their pockets in lieu of perfume. Their golden skin mottled with red or rust is also quite pretty.
I will be growing these in my garden this year. So if you’re feeling a little nostalgic, or want to try something new and different, stop by and try them. Maybe you’ll be inspired to grow your own “forgotten fruits.”