It’s taken this past trip to remind me how much city life has affected me. I’ve almost always lived in cities with international airports but this last holiday living life in the countryside was wonderfully slow paced and relaxing (I suppose not if you’re a farmer though). And the countryside is absolutely laden with nice things to eat! At least, the Alt Penedès was. It was all so fascinating for me to see things growing on trees and vines. Sure, my family has had gardens in the past, growing herbs and tomatoes and raspberries and the like. But to actually see grapes and tomatoes and olives grown in such quantity and figs and almonds and herbs growing wild – it’s all so new to me! Look! Grapes on the vine! Figs on the tree! Oh, and flies everywhere – ack!
One afternoon after lunch, Blai and I ventured out for a trek to Can Pascol, a ruined, over 1000-year-old tower nearby. We walked through numerous vineyards (grapes!) and past many almond trees (almonds! on trees!) by the road and so very many blackberry bushes. We helped ourselves to many of these berries, popping them into our mouths along the way.
Many herbs were also identified: rosemary, thyme and fennel. Actually, Blai pointed out two different types of fennel and we plucked a couple of sprigs to nibble on. This is the variety that I preferred, with tufts of tiny yellow flowers.
On the way back, we stopped by a very promising looking black fig tree by the side of the road. We picked a few and then hot footed it out of there before its owner decided to show up. You know, figs that are pilfered taste the best*! There were also two green fig trees in front of Blai’s family’s house and gosh, those figs were also good! Now that I’ve starting thinking about them, I might need to head to my local shop to pick up a few.
Making a meal of it all would have been pushing it but there was enough to make a nice snack. I’ve still got a few almonds in my backpack but nothing at home to crack them open. Bah. Hmm…this has got me thinking: perhaps I ought to try foraging in London?
* Um….this blog does not actively endorse the pilfering of figs. Prickly pears though…there were loads of those on cacti and one man even encouraged us to take his!