Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Paint, Fig, Jujube

{Morning Still Life}

I've been working on marketing ideas for an upcoming show and whipped out my set of Holbein gouache paints to sketch some designs. Gouache is a water-based pigment that has more heft and opacity than watercolor, and it's super easy to work with.  Gouache is good. But even better when acompanied by a bowl of figs and a few delicious, weird jujubes.



I'm originally from the great corn-and-tomatoes-growing state of New Joisey, so all these exotic fruits I come across at the farmer's market in southern California are oddities worthy of a little research... 



Meet the kadota fig. The kadota isn't your sensuous, molassesy mission fig. Just a modest, green-skinned fig with a mild sweetness. The kadota is the Honda Civic of the fig world: compact, practical, and perfectly worthwhile. Truth be told I'm just waiting for the second crop of mission figs to come in, but these little guys are still delicious sliced inside a grilled cheese sandwich or with a little honey and goat cheese on a cracker.



But all hail the jujube (pronounced, delightfully, as joo-joo-bee). Jujubes are the superfruit of the desert. Imported fairly recently from Asia, the jujube, also known as Chinese date, can thrive in nearly any climate. It's been a raging success in southern California because of it's disease tollerance and ability to withstand the paint-peeling heat and below-freezing temperatures of the desert. The little jujube tree requires minimal irrigation and no pesticides or fungicides to produce bushels of healthy fruit, so that's good news for for everyone. Oh, and it's chock-full of Vitamin C. Superfruit indeed.



The jujube fruit looks and tastes like miniature apples at first -green and crisp- but once picked they ripen into a taffy-like reddish-brown, and the flavor is surprisingly sweet and nougaty. Yes, nougaty, as in nougat, like in Toblerone bars. LOVE the jujube at any stage. See if you can find some!

4 comments:

  1. really interesting. the colors are pretty - would love to try these.

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  2. Whoa, I didn't know that jujubes were something beyond a gummy candy! That is great. Thanks for stopping by Concerning:Pancakes! I'm glad to have another blog to check out, too. Enjoy the day!

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  3. nice idea..thanks for sharing...

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