Seasonal delights

As I finally moved into and settled properly in my apartment in Paris, I decided to stock up on as much groceries as I could.
The best part about going to local food markets is the local/seasonal produce that comes to be available; and in Paris it is one of the best..

I came upon a ton of mirabelles and after snacking on them yesterday, they are definitely my new favorite seasonal fruit. I’ve always known what mirabelles were but never tried one before. They’re basically  plums, but are yellow/green and are the size of grapes. You can easily find them in jam, especially in France, but eaten fresh are even better and the price was a good bargain (2 Euros per kilo). No wonder all these people (mostly elderly) were surrounding the mirabelles. The problem was, though, how do you know if it’s good? I learned from an 80-year old french man, that you have to pick the mirabelles one by one; those that exert pressure but are soft at the tip, and that indeed fresh ones were best between July and mid-September, usually from Lorraine. 

I better stock on these before they run out!

I was surprisingly full of energy yesterday (with jetlag in tow) that I strutted to Paris Chinatown (13ème arrondissement) and bought diced pork spare ribs. It’s best if you ask the butcher to cut it in smaller halves and then at home all you have to do is cut it in smaller pieces if that’s what you prefer. 

Pork spare ribs with rock candy
Now pork spare ribs can be found all year round, but I find them to be a great transition to the fall season before restaurants bring out rather gamey meat, when it’s not too hot and not too cold. Even at the end of august, Paris is getting a little colder, with mornings and nights averaging around 11-12 degrees celsius. This recipe is fairly easy to make, with all the usual suspects: 3/4 cup marinated in rice wine, 1 cup sweet soya sauce and 1 cup of sugar for about an hour, frying the ribs in oil covering the pan (peanut, sunflower are best), keeping the marinade for later and frying them until they are crispy. The trick is to not cook them until the meat has hardened or else it tends to get too dry. Before serving just pour the left-over marinade for quick mix and…voilà!

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