Saturday, 24 March 2012

Rescuing Mandarins

Here in Menton, France, the mandarin oranges are literally falling from above and landing with a splat on the street in front of my neighbour's house, right across from the front door of our weekend hide away.  Judging from the ugly pile of them, this has been happening for the past week.

I don't know about you, but food being wasted troubles me, especially when the food is Mentonnaise mandarins, for goodness sake, some of the most fragrant, sweet and delicious citrus grown here. 

Since our own mandarin trees produced hardly any fruit this year, I was especially disheartened to see so many of them smashed on the road, falling into the sewer and being run over by passing cars.

So this morning when I spotted two men in my neighbour's mandarin trees picking them and dropping them into buckets, I sprung into action.

"Could I buy some?"  I asked.  "Yes," came the reply, their boss would be here soon and we could work out a deal with him.

About an hour later the Patron or boss came by in his truck, out came his scale, and he started weighing out the mandarins.

Well, thirty euro  later, 10kg of luscious, perfumed mandarins were all mine but once we hauled the crates into our hallway I was a bit concerned.   With the 5 or so kg extra that he'd thrown in, this was a lot of mandarins!  I guess I'll be spending the next few days making all things mandarin.

Despite the mandarins' fabulous taste they're full of seeds so peeling and eating them takes a bit of effort and lots of seed spitting.

Out of necessity comes action so off we dashed to the supermarket in Latte to buy preserving jars and sugar.

What doesn't go into the preserving pan I'll use to make hubby's morning juice, some mandarin sorbet, and some pâte de fruits for friends. 

It looks like my "waste not want not" mandarin rescue mission is turning out to be a lot of work!


Heather Robinson said...

Holy Canoli, Jennifer! Yars a mighty lot of mandarins! Whew! But I would have absolutely done the same thing. They might be my favorite fruit.

I'll look forward to hearing if you came up with any new ideas, recipe-wise.

Hope that you had a great weekend!

Hannah said...

What a find! There is nothing better than "rescuing" food like this, and eating local at the same time. I could never dream of finding citrus out on the street though... That sounds heavenly!

Gustia said...

It's the lazy girl's guide to foraging but it's about as Locavore as you can get!

Gustia said...

Lots of mandarins for sure! Recipes to follow...