The color turning in the leaves are beautiful daily reminders of the season’s progress, but blink twice and it’s gone. The part I like best is what shows up at the markets – persimmons, pears, chestnuts, and kiwi – so we’re getting our fill before the sparse period sets in. This year brings some excitement though, because I discovered that exotic pawpaw fruit is grown right here in Italy.
Azienda Agricola Montanari (Faenza) is the only large-scale Italian grower that I know of, but unfortunately the season is brief. The fruit are big and uniform in size, have excellent flavor, and packed with care to withstand long-distance travel. Note: the Trybeca farm in Piemonte that we buy our nashi from has a small orchard of pawpaw trees but they give the fruit away as samples.
The six that I bought kept well in the fridge. I took one out at least a couple of days before serving and have to say this: breakfasts have been pure bliss!
Another fruit (culinarily, it’s a vegetable) that I usually see stocked from mid-September are these small, red-orange eggplants called melanzana rossa di Rotondo. Cultivated in the south, the eggplants can be stuffed and baked, or wrapped with bacon, then roasted.
Unlike other eggplants, melanzana rossa does not turn brown when cut.