05 July 2012
The glorious, prized aloocha. That's the round, golf-ball sized, green fruit you're looking at. Here, in the Republic of Georgia, people devour the local delicacy in all sorts of ways-- fresh off the tree, chopped into salads and chunky relishes, cooked and pureed into a savory sauce to accompany barbequed meats.
Last year, we plucked them from the tree a bit too early for our taste-- resulting in a very tart, hard fruit. This year, we waited a few weeks longer (truthfully, a few locals told me we waited far too long). But, with a few more weeks being kissed by sunlight, the sour aloocha became a sweet golden plum. My husband and I sat outside with juices dripping down our arms, bite after glorious bite. The baby reveled in the giant bowls being harvested, taking single bites of several fruits in a row and feeding the leftovers to our turtles. And, our two older kids ate their fair share fresh off of the tree.
With more aloocha than we could eat, I tried my hand at making a batch of the local pureed sauce. My husband grilled and we paired our barbeque with several local salads, freshly cooked o-shaped bread and the aloocha sauce. Verdict: it's too bad the aloocha isn't available year round.