I'm going to make this a new part of my blog. So we'll see how it works.
Here's an introduction:
Think about all the food you eat. EVERYTHING you purchase at the supermarket has ONE thing in common. If you ONLY eat food from supermarkets and food from restaurants that means EVERYTHING you eat has this same thing in common. Give up?
All that food is profitable. All that food you eat is grown, or sold, most likely because it can be shipped. Think about figs, only recently have fresh figs been available in the market because of new breeds. Figs were only available as dry fruits (see: fig newtons) and that is really the only thing that saved the fig from being lost in oblivion. Figs typically open up on the ends when ripe and so they were never suitable for shipping. The tomatoes one buys at markets are also tough skinned so they won't bruise or break when being shipped. And so our diets are based on what foods are profitable for business. (see: McDonalds)
Unfortunately this has happened to many fruits. And today I'm going to talk about the medlar fruit.
I've never had one, but i've heard good things. It is native to Iran and was grown in ancient Rome and Greece. This leads me to believe it may be a PERFECT tree to grow in southern California as we share the mediterranean climate it was originally grown in. Mespilus germanica is it's botanical name. The fruit needs to be bletted in order to be eaten (that means it needs to be over ripe like the persimmon) It is also similar to the persimmon and blueberry in that the flower is directly attached to the fruit and noticeable. The fruit is a matte brown when ready to eat and is described as similar in taste and consistency to apple sauce.
Here is a photo of some of it's flowers. The tree gets to about 25 feet or so and is deciduous. "medlar" was once used as a term for "whore." And Mercutio mentioned the tree in this context in Romeo and Juliet.
"If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.(35)
Now will he sit under a medlar tree
And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit
As maids call medlars when they laugh alone.
O, Romeo, that she were, O that she were
An open et cetera, thou a pop'rin pear!(40)
Romeo, good night. I'll to my truckle-bed;
This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep.
Come, shall we go?"
I would LOVE to get my hands on a tree, but I can't seem to find a local nursery that has them for sale. I did find this nursery in northern california that I could order one from but they seem to be out of stock. Rolling River Nursery
If anyone knows where I can find one TELL ME. If I can find a place that sells them I'll share it here. And if anyone has ever had one fresh, please share your experience! Otherwise I'll keep checking back on Rolling River Nursery until I can get one of my own.