Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sea Grape Season

I like sea grapes and I've blogged about them before but it's starting to be that time of year again when we get to enjoy their heady scent and big green leaves. Actually the leaves have been around for a few months but now they are joined by the fruit. The leaves themselves are large waxy and collect raindrops as though were umbrellas.


They call them sea grapes because they grow undaunted by the proximity of saltwater and the fruit look and behave just like regular grapes. They start out green and hard and grow in clusters like wine grapes.


By this time of year they are starting to ripen and turn a delicious purpose color. Which is what alerts the birds to their desirability so by now it's a race between me and the mourning doves on my street to see who gets to eat the grapes. I lose, year after year.


The grapes taste somewhat like regular grapes but they have a huge pit in the middle so the meat is rather less than at first appears. I have fond memories of being a child and sitting under the vines and gorging myself on grapes, so I like to stand around and pick a few of these when I find a few ripe grapes.


I was so absorbed in my photography this well oiled tricycle drifted up on me without my noticing. I spun round to say hi and he looked straight through me. A man on a mission.


We watched him go and I was half tempted to yell out that he was missing a delicious fruit but, I fear sea grapes would be wasted on a tricycle rider who goes out in public with white socks pulled neatly up to his knees. We continued our feast alone, Cheyenne and I.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

6 comments:

Singing to Jeffrey's Tune said...

I planted a small sea-grape a couple of years ago that has become quite a bush. It is not 7 feet tall and 5 foot in diameter. I am thinking of planting a few more to round out a nice grove of them on the corner of my property. The drawback is I planted it on the tenant side of the duplex and it would be strange me sitting in the grove looking into their living room.

Suwannee Refugee said...

I never knew that Sea Grapes had a scent. Make sense though. I'll have to act weird and smell them next time I'm around one.

Brady said...

Conch,

I understand your pain. We planted blueberries. Birds are just a bit more tolerant of yet-to-ripen fruit than we are. I have never eaten a blueberry I've grown.

Brady
Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life
http://www.behindbarsmotorcycle.com/

Conchscooter said...

Jeffrey - just tell them you're from key west and let them ponder your next improbable move.
Suwanee - they smell like 'real' grapes as the berries ripen. I get this incredible vineyard smell in my driveway as the grapes ripen and fall and get eaten. Yum.
Brady I have eaten a handful from my little bush which drowned an died while I was in Italy. Being a farmer sucks on so many levels.

Len said...

Could they be picked when green and allowed to ripen in the safety of your kitchen? Not quite the same as picking and eating them in the "wild" but at least you would get to enjoy them more frequently.

Conchscooter said...

I could try. Or I could put on an apron and make jam.