The markets in Southern Spain often have produce that looks amazing but you may be unsure how to prepare it.
Here´s a guide to seasonal produce in Andalusia.
Name in Spanish: Chirimoya Known in English as: Custard Apple In Season: Autumn & Winter Description: Large green tropical fruit, delicate and bruises easily. (shown on the picture at right towards the back) How to eat: Slice in half and eat with a spoon, avoiding that large black seeds. No so good when overripe. Beneficial properties: Contain Vitamins A & C, potassium, antioxidants, made up of 75% water. Recommended to combat constipation, to reduce stress, good for skin, teeth and bones. Chirimoya is grown locally on the Costa Tropical, Granada in and around Jete, Motril. Name in Spanish: Granada Known in English as: Pomegranate In Season: October to March Description: Large red fruit, the seeds inside are edible. How to eat: Slice off the top and bottom, break into 2 halves, eat the seeds. Careful with the red juice, the stains last forever. Eat the seeds as fruit, make juice from the seeds, add them to yoghurt or top a salad with them. Beneficial properties: Packed with antioxidants, high in fibre and may reduce blood pressure. May help to avoid plaque build up on teeth. Pomegranates are grown locally, in and around Granada province. Name in Spanish: Sharoni and caqui Known in English as: Persimmon or Sharon Fruit In Season: Autumn Description: Pale orange to deep red fruit, similar to appearance of a tomato. (shown on the 1st picture towards the front) How to eat: With a very ripe Caqui fruit, lift skin and eat with a spoon. Very sweet taste. Unriped sharon fruit can be ripened by storing in a container with alchol, such as aniseed liquor. When ripened they can be eaten sliced. Do not eat on an empty stomach due to possible reaction with gastric juices. Beneficial properties: High in fibre. rich in vitamin C, may improve metabolism coping with fat storage. Personally I recommend eating the deep red caqui fruits, They have a wonderful colour and flavour. Be careful not to stain your clothing as it´s very difficult to remove. Name in Spanish: Membrillo Known in English as: Quince In Season: Autumn Description: Slightly larger than an apple, similar in appearance, How to eat: Great to make jams and jellies as they are high in pectin. Althgouh I use them to complement apples in crumbles and baking to enchance the flavour. They can be roasted in the oven or boiled with cinnamon for a winter dessert. They also emit a perfume that fragrances your home. Grown locally in Granada province and other areas of Andalusia. Beneficial properties: High in fibre, good for weight loss, antioxidants. The picture above is from a week ago, when I baked quince in the oven, drizzled with local honey from the Alpujarra, lemon rind from Lecrin valley lemons, some cinnamon and brown sugar. Spanish: Azoifaifa Known in English as: Jujube or Chinese date In Season: Autumn Description: Reddish brown, Looks like an acorn, tastes similar to an apple, (pictured above behind the beans) How to eat: Eaten as a snack, careful with the stone in the centre. Properties: Huge amounts of Vitamin C. Although only a short shelf life, once picked only last 5-6 days. Beneficial properties: Eases the stomach and suppresses appetite Spanish: Aguacate Known in English as: Avocado In Season: November to January (but can run Oct – June) Description: Green shiny skin, flesh on the inside is pale green and a butter like consistency How to eat: Lovely in salads, make guacamole with them or try the cold avocado soup in the recipe below. Properties: They have more potassium than bananas and are rich in Vitamins B, E & K Beneficial properties: May reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Avocado Gazpacho recipe
- 2 small avocados
- half a green pepper
- 1 cucumber peeled and diced (2 if small)
- Salt & pepper
- 2 teaspoons of lime juice
- 2 tablespoons of corainder
- 1 cup of water
- 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
To make the cold avocado soup, peel and dice the avocados, the cucumber and dice the green pepper. Put all ingredients in the blender until you have a smooth consistent mixture. Check the seasoning and put into a bowl. Keep this cold in the fridge for an hour or more before serving. To garnish use slices of avocado, red pepper and cucumber. Of course, there are many more fruits that are grown in Granada Province, the mangoes and bananas are wonderful too. Hope you have enjoyed this fruity Seasonal guide. Want to know more about the area, see these my A-Z to the Costa Tropical