As New Haven descends further into the cold and dark, I was surprised and most pleased to find, of all things, loquats. Not a tree, sadly, but a flat of them at the Chinese grocery. I’ve heard that these fruits are so delicate that they are almost impossible to ship, yet these ones looked handsome, so I bought a whole bagful. Loquats remind me of growing up in Berkeley, where they grow on streetcorners, and my dad would hoist me onto his shoulders so I could pick them.
I had delicious loquats last summer, when D. and I were in Paris. We spent a day wandering around the Marché aux Puces in Clignancourt, and late in the afternoon became suddenly very hungry; a large loquat tree presented itself just in time, and I climbed up and gathered a late lunch. The fruits were a little overripe and very sweet; I’m not sure if they were the best loquats I’ve had, or whether the circumstances made for such a memorable experience.