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.