Confucius wrote about them. Alexander the Great and then Julius Caesar brought them to the Mediterranean region through trade. Early settlers brought them to the New World. Luther Burbank, the “Plant Wizard” botanist, horticulturist and pomologist (cultivator of fruit trees), grew, studied and documented plum trees grown in California, and produced new hybrid varieties.
My dad always called them Chinese Apples. I’m talking about pomegranates, the jeweled-looking fruit that makes its way to our markets from late fall through early winter. The pomegranate’s sparkly, ruby-red, gem-like seeds seemed so exotic to me way back when. They were a fascinating fruit, those little, edible jewels. Found right before Christmas, we always purchased one to just take apart and to eat.
They’re as old as the hills. That’s as long as figs have been around. They are the antique trees of the garden - the old souls. Figuratively speaking, fig leaves played a strategic role in the cover-up that went down in the Garden of Eden. Their gorgeous, big, showy leaves provided the first fashion statement – au naturel. Figs are, themselves, delicious eaten au naturel, that is, picked right off the tree. Whoever says he “doesn’t give a fig” apparently has never tasted one.
The emerald ash borer, an insect from Asia, has migrated to the area and could devastate the city's ash tree population.
While the bounty of summer fruits has ended, dried fruits offer a healthy alternative and are a good choice when fresh fruits aren’t available. Dried fruits are devoid of the water content that is so characteristic of fruits. Fruits are dried by drawing out the water content, either by sun-drying or using specialized machines. Once in their dried phase, the fruits can be stored for a longer period of time and continue to provide basic nutrients. Some of the most common dried fruits are apricots, raisins, plums, dates, prunes, cranberries, blueberries and figs.