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


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