Monday, May 13, 2013

First signs of forthcoming walnut season

Yesterday, I discovered the first visible signs at Gamone of the forthcoming walnut season.

This year, I intend to try out a totally new recipe: fresh walnuts preserved in sweet syrup. It appears to be a Greek Cypriot specialty. The product is marketed on the web.

Here are a couple of photos of the product that I found on the web:

These images suggest that the product—referred to as glyko karydaki in Greek—has much the same appearance and texture as my familiar pickled walnuts made with malt vinegar. I've found a clear and complete recipe [here] from a Cypriot lady, Ivy Liacopoulou. I've told her that I intend to use her recipe, and she has kindly provided me with further advice concerning the importance of thickening the syrup, which plays a vital role in the preservation of the product.

In Ivy's recipe, there's an intriguing "ingredient": quicklime. I've put the word "ingredient" in inverted commas because powdered calcium oxide is merely used at one stage in the lengthy preparations in order to keep the walnuts firm. But the toxicity of this dangerous substance will have long disappeared, of course, by the time the walnuts become edible.

Natacha and Alain were the first people to inform me of the existence of such walnuts, which they had discovered at the Greek-Armenian Edykos restaurant in Aix-en-Provence.

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