Elizabeth Bowen’s mouth-watering description of eating a Sicilian orange in Rome deserves a place at the Nuannaarpoq table. And I read it a few weeks after moving to Italy and beginning to find red, sweet oranges of a quality I’ve rarely encountered elsewhere. Some of them are blood-rosey but we are still in search of the crimson hues Bowen mentions.
A great ripe Sicilian blood orange is in a class by itself: the peel, mottled satin outside, white velvet in, curls away under digs from the thumbs, gladly; the delicate-membraned sections fall asunder like petals, firm flesh not spilling one drop of crimson juice till one bites into them. Such oranges deserve to be eaten as I ate them, in infiltrated sunshine, with wine to finish. You become invaded by the eupeptic mellowness of the atmosphere …
Wishing you, from oranges or other fruits, eupeptic mellowness.
Source: Elizabeth Bowen, A Time in Rome (London: Vintage Books, 2010), p. 44
Photo credit: Monica Grabkowska at unsplash