08 January 2009

Oh, my darlin’ clementine!

There are few things in life that are absolutely perfect. This is surely one of them.

An adorable little Sicilian clementina, only slightly bigger than a quail’s egg and bursting with perfume-y citrus sweetness – all the more wonderful for being senza semi (without seeds). That means I can greedily pop the whole thing into my mouth – thin, delicate peel and all – and enjoy it in one juicy bite.

Or I can follow M.F.K. Fisher’s tangerine advice: remove the peel, then separate the teeny sections and leave them near the house’s heat source until their membranes are dry and very taut. Hard to describe the flavor sensation, the brief, splashy thrill of nipping into one of them…

I get about three dozen of these pretty babies for a euro and fifty (around two bucks) at Rialto. I recall that I went crazy for them last year; this year I have actually kept track of my addiction. As of this writing, I have eaten more than 200 clementine. And the season isn’t even half over yet!