March 16, 2011

Santiago de Compostela, Spain. October, 2009

Fruit in the United States is not good. At least that’s what a sidewalk vendor told me in Agrigento in 1984. She was selling the most beautiful pears along a stepped, impromptu street market in that small southern Sicilian town. And although she seemed unlikely to have ever left her home, she didn’t hesitate to finish my “La frutta negli stati uniti...” with a brisk “non è buona!” Actually, I think she’s correct, and that’s why whenever I visit Europe, I always try to find some fresh fruit, free from the curse of mass-production, unripe harvesting, cross-country shipping. The bosc-like pear she sold me back then was juicy and flavorful and remains in memory to this day. Unlike the rock-hard or mealy ones I find negli stati uniti. The woman above, in the central market in Santiago de Compostela, may not have been so opinionated about American produce, but she was proud of her own. And rightly so. We bought bosc pears again (to go with our Cabrales blue cheese and local Galician corn bread for lunch) and they dripped all over us as we savored their remarkable taste and texture. Buena.


  1. She is not correct. There's plenty of good fruit in the U.S. You're a fruit snob.

  2. There is nothing like the fresh strawberries in France - I'm with Sandy on this. It is nearly impossible to find any at home that even closely resembles the glorious aroma and flavor.