I have discovered a new love and believe I may be rethinking my Top Ten Favorite Things.
Growing up in Northern VA, before the Central American immigration wave in the late 1990s, meant pretty standard fruits and veggies. Apples, oranges, potatoes, carrots, grapefruits...you get it. I remember the first time I had a kewi...that alien-green, mushy, slighty tart inside. It was a big deal. Now the grocery stores in my area are carrying more exotic produce because of the extensive Latino population.
Tuesday, after a very stimulating lecture on iodine deficiency and goiters in my International Nutrition class, Patricia and I got in the hospital elevator to leave. She was carrying a bag of very tiny oranges. I asked her what they were and she looked at my like I was crazy to have never seen the fruit before. "Kumquats" was the answer I got. She offered me one and I took it, unsure of how to eat it. At about two inches long, it seemed too small to peel. She assured me that I could eat the rind and encouraged me to pop it in my mouth whole.
Oh holy jesus. It was quite possibly the most miraculous experience ever (barring the Virgin Birth, of course). I put the kumquat in my mouth, and bit down. It exploded in my mouth, a fresh burst of tart citrus and sweet rind. The experience was almost shocking, but the most utterly amazing sensory experience. The scent of citrus lingered in the elevator after we breezed out. Delicious.
I finally went grocery shopping last night after realizing I had to stop eating out or at MS's house. I dashed to Trader Joe's after I got out of class at 8pm. I always buy the same things--eggs, meat, cheese, tortillas, red peppers and soy milk for my coffee. Lo and behold, as I walked in the store, a display of kumquats greeted me. I almost cried. I bought two boxes. Since buying them approximately 18 hours later, I've eaten one whole box and the citric acid is beginning to eat through my stomach lining, but I can't stop myself. Everytime I bite through the sweet, crunchy rind and the tart pulpy innards, I almost die of happiness.
This is love.