Allotment Stuff > The Basics

Flavour Varieties that (you don't hear this often) are in the shops.


I'm posting in Basics because finding flavour is pretty basic.

I'm always on the lookout for well-flavoured varieties in the shops - normally because the seed- and nursery-companies print so much drivel in their adverts that it's the only way to find any at all.

Normally I'm interested in getting at the seeds (piccolo & green tiger tomatoes, orange snack/chiquina peppers etc.)

In this case I'm talking about grapes - there are already several near-black varieties that can be found in our shops at different times of year - they're mostly hybrids crossed with wild species from the Americas. The best ones have a flavour intensity more like cherries - that's apart from some hints of cherry too - Sable is the most famous one - though other similar crosses are sold under the same name. Well worth a try. You may have tasted Flame grapes which are very good but not that intense or 'different'.

All the above are seedless grapes, but you can (very rarely) find a seed in one. I certainly don't recommend you try to grow an immature seed (it needs high-tech really) - you can buy a grape vine called Glenora that ticks the same boxes if (like me) you have to have one in your garden.

However I've discovered a more unusual flavour this week - it is a grape that tastes of lychee. It isn't as strong as lychee but is good enough to be addictive. The grape is sold at a light pink, but the lychee flavour is stronger in the few fruits that are darker.

It's name is Ralli - my batch came from South Africa via a supermarket that shares its name with an island in the N. Atlantic.

My taste buds are hoping it catches on so it's worth my while to encourage you to buy it whenever you see it, because I want to see it in every supermarket soon.

I'll also be looking very carefully for some decent seeds in them!

NB. OTOH the only things that put me off buying lychees are the huge seeds bigger than bullets - a good flavour in not much flesh is still not much flavour per kilo...

Incidentally the other fruit that has a good lychee flavour is the yellow pitaya - not to be confused with the yellow dragonfruit (which is much blander and much easier to grow). It's similar-looking but slimmer - same length but only 50-70% as wide, with smaller, more delicate "scales". It's more expensive, even per fruit - I've only ever found them in posh food halls like Selfridges and Harrods, though they are available from specialist fruiterers in the Canary Islands.

Pitaya, looked it up, very interesting but. Some societies consider the seeds are better once they have past through your body once.   :sad3: I don't they will be on the menu here.

Tee Gee:

--- Quote ---Some societies consider the seeds are better once they have past through your body once.   :sad3: I don't they will be on the menu here.
--- End quote ---

Reminds me of when I once worked on a contract where we were extending a Sewage Plant and I stayed in a caravan on site.

During the late summer I would get up quite early and go foraging for Mushrooms & Tomatoes and within half an hour of picking them I was having them fried with a rasher of bacon for my breakfast!  boooooooootiful!

Another job I worked on  I used to get fresh sweetbreads during the lambing season these were also lovely when cooked with a rasher of bacon!


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