Italy - Prickly Pear Harvest in Fontane Bianche

Italy - Prickly Pear Harvest in Fontane Bianche

Once again we are standing in one of those dream spots in Sicily. When we open the sliding door and the sound of the waves and the fresh sea air from our front garden warm our hearts, we know: Today is a beautiful day.

We take it slowly. We bob along, read a little, daydream a little about world history, then we get a visitor. First from an elderly German shepherd, then from the corresponding elderly gentleman. We chat, the gentleman, who comes from Germany, has bought a holiday home here and now does his "home office" from time to time. Nice, we think. A great place to be. We get tips for the surroundings and the best coffee far and wide.

Slowly we pack up, because we want to head north, towards Etna. The volcano is calling. We hear it very clearly!

Gerd gets a call from the office and I realise that it could take longer. Funnily enough, I still don't understand French, but by now I can tell whether it's a "Hello, how are you?" or a "We have a problem, can you help us?

So I prepare to spend the day here. I get gloves from our winter box and the rarely used sieve from the kitchen and go picking: Beautiful prickly pears grow right in front of us, loaded all over with fruit.

Cactus figs, which originate from Mexico, are called the "bread of the arid regions". Why? No idea. Besides, the prickly pear, i.e. the colourful fruit, is actually a berry. But the sweet and sour, mega tasty inside is well protected: The figs and the plant itself have nasty spines. Such hair-thin, hard, almost opaque spines that hurt forever. Since we already had this painful experience in Malta, I am now prepared:

Put on gloves and put the harvest into a sieve. When you have harvested five or six "figs", keep moving the sieve until all the spines (well, almost all of them, as I notice later on my thumb) have come off the fruit.

On we go, the next fruits.

The inside of the fruit is easy to scoop out, but after the third fruit I wonder what my stomach and intestines will do with so much new fruit and I better stop. I hollow out the rest of the fruit and make us a little jam. To be honest, I have no other idea what to do with the fruit at the moment.

When the last glass of "Gompfi" has been filled and the kitchen has been returned from chaos to travel mode, Gerd has also finished his long-distance rescue and we can actually drive a little further in the direction of the volcano.

By the way: the jam tastes delicious. Gerd thinks the seeds are stupid, they don't bother me. Later I find out that I could have pureed the pulp and sieved out the seeds. Well, that's the way it is now. The jam tastes the same on fresh chiabatta. And it didn't last long anyway.

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Merci for "travelling with us

These weeks we are travelling through Iran. It's possible that we won't be writing posts or that they will be delayed. We first have to see whether we have enough internet or reception and whether it is suitable for us to publish from the country. And whether we will even manage to write down all the fantastic impressions in time.

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Rachel
Rachel
11 months ago

It's beautiful there! 🥰

I have also experienced the spines of these fruits!
Really nasty! 😳

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