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August 15, 2007

frozen memories, partially thawed


With almost everything available throughout the year in the grocery store these days, I find myself still struggling to reach for fruits that are out of season. Sure, many of them may have flown over from a distant land where they may be "in season", yet more and more home-grown fruits are now found in store completely out of context- I mean, out of season. Getting the first-of-the-season crops has always been a great way of celebrating the arrival of a new season, but too early is too much; things may be different elsewhere, but at least in Japan, apples and Japanese pears shouldn't be around in June, nor grapes in July... and no mandarins in August, no, never. Ever.

As a matter of fact, however, we see all these quite commonly on store shelves. I rarely buy them, but do occasionally - or sometimes I may receive some from someone as a gift. That's how I got these greenhouse-grown, the-sweetest-I-have-ever-tasted mandarins along with other equally succulent and gorgeous fruits carefully packaged in a box. Given the heat that's been on us for the past week or so, I popped some of them into the freezer so we'd eat them frozen in a dreadfully hot afternoon or muggy evening.

Frozen mandarins are something that makes all of us grown-ups weep for joy - well at least those of us who grew up on school meals in Japan. As easy as it is, freezing mandarins somehow isn't what we'd always do at home. It's more of something that you always have away from home (which would usually be either at school as part of school lunch, or on the train for a long-distance travel; these are the two occasions we'd associate frozen mandarins with... that's the way it is, don't ask me why), and you love it, you swear to make your own when you get home, and somehow you never would. At least I never used to do that at home - although others may well be different.

Either way, I don't think I ever had frozen mandarins in the middle of summer as a kid. I can't be 100% sure, but as far as I can remember, we wouldn't even imagine having mandarins other than in the winter. Eating a frozen, only partially thawed icy mandarin in a heated room in the midst of winter would have been what made it so pleasurable, I think. Having one of them at the height of summer is such a treat, and as much as I appreciate the well-considered gift and thoroughly enjoy it, part of me goes... well, what can I say.

Oh, I can say IT'S HOT - maybe the heat has made me go all too mushy.

12 comments:

Virgy said...

Beautiful photos!!! and I like your blog too :)

clarisse said...

are these the normal-sized ones or the really small ones? i'm from singapore and i've seen really small mandarins being brought in (about 1.5-2 inches wide) and they are delicious and packed full of flavour.

i love eating these around the chinese lunar new year (somewhere in jan/feb, usually). mandarins are very much a part of my childhood. (:

TasteTV : Life Never Tasted So good said...

When it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables every day of the year, we admit we're spoiled here in California

SteamyKitchen said...

I have never had frozen mandarin oranges! Now I need to go to the store and get a box

Hillary said...

Whoa - crazy! This sounds soo good! I've LOVE frozen blueberries and frozen Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies but have never tried this! Thanks.

Julie in Michigan said...

What a neat idea - I'll have to try it next time I'm in CA (no Satsumas here in MI). When we were kids, we used to eat frozen green grapes - sounds weird, but try it, so yummy!

justJENN said...

God, that picture makes my mouth water!

Anna Helm said...

mmm, frozen mandarins! I personally love frozen raspberries and blueberries. Gorgeous picture.

aklich...aka..foodich said...

for me the ultimate frozen fruit is frozen green sweet seedless grapes.. really the best treat in summer.

great blog..

ChocolatElf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ChocolatElf said...

Those look like tangerines to me because of their petite size. Still, the taste is sweet and I'm sure that freezing it adds a blissful twist to summer! Keep up the beautiful blog!

S. said...

I discovered frozen mandarins accidentally! My fridge decided to freeze up everything one day and I got frozen mandarins! I fell in love! Glad to see you're enjoying them too. :)