Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sugar plums

0702 sugarplums
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Yup, OK, like you I've heard of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker ballet.

But this is the first time I ever remember seeing sugar plums. I always imagined they were glace plums, or plums somehow otherwise cooked/preserved. Wasn't it plums that Amy got into trouble for at school, in Little Women? That she bought with Meg's hard-earned?

So there at my favourite well-lit fruit and vege shop was this array of sugar plums. They were distinctly smaller than usual plums, their colour a wondrous range from chartreuse through deep red to, well, plum. There's a hand-dye crossover worth trying (as I'm sure it has been).

I probably should have bought some. But I went for two punnets of blackberries instead, because they're divine with sweet plain yoghurt, and almost equally rare (certainly they are rarely $2.99/punnet) and brought the sugar plums home in my camera.

I might go back next week, though...I'm conscious of the seasonality of all this wonderful stone fruit (had some white peaches last week that were fresh and singing on the tongue), and that it won't last. Already mangoes are becoming dirt cheap, and when they become dirt cheap they're coming to the end of their time - a huge change from the first box of mangoes at the Sydney wholesale fruit markets in spring, which is traditionally auctioned and raises a significant sum for charity.

But then, the flip side of the seasonality is that when they're here, they're good. It's all very well having apples, for instance, available all year, but not when they're not worth eating because they're soft or boardy or not properly apple-y, crisp and with sweet-sharp juice.

Sugar plums are probably nice with sweet plain yoghurt too.


candyschultz said...

I like to do the same thing with cottage cheese. Really good fresh fruit, cottage cheese and a drizzle of really good honey. One of my favorite and easiest desserts is fresh figs with creme fraiche and honey. The figs have to be exceptional but any fruit would work and it is so easy and delicious. We haven't had good figs for several years around here but juicy blackberries are wonderful. I have never seen sugarplums. I am going to start looking for them.

Anonymous said...

Hello - I am a friend of Rob Wilcher. As i have been gorging myself on sugar plums this weekend I thought you would be interested in a source of organic sugar plums for you and your readers:

Addison Road Organic Markets at the Addison Road Comunity Centre (includes Reverse Garbage) in Marrickville.

Bon appetite!

Chris Dellit