Remember back in January, when many of us made new year’s resolutions, as if 2020 was going to be any old year where we could make plans and go about our everyday lives?
I found this especially ironic because, back in 2019, I made a list of resolutions that I planned to fail at (and I did an amazing job of that). In 2020 however, I made a list of genuine resolutions that I earnestly planned to follow.
One of my resolutions was to ask better questions, advice I took from author David Sedaris. My plan was, when I was out and about interacting with people, to try to ask interesting and random questions a few times a week, just to see what people might tell me. This meant breaking out of the usual polite script we use for interactions, which was a good personal challenging.
I’d started getting in a bit of a rhythm with this, and was delighted by many of the resulting interactions. Often people are really keen to talk and have something interesting to tell you, if you give them a chance.
After months of lockdown though, I’ve found this impulse has shut down, and my interactions are really stitled, especially as I’m still not going out much.
But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about my latest Australiana discovery – lemonades!
Keen followers of this site will remember that back in January, I asked a fruit store cashier about the strangest fruit they stock, and she got all excited telling me about lemonades, a type of lemon that tastes exactly like lemonade.
I promised to follow up the tip, and here we are.
I went back to the fruit shop and found these beauties.
As my mom observed, lemonades look like lemons crossed with oranges. They’re rounder, and their skin is mottled. According to a random produce website, this fruit is “a hybrid cross between a Meyer lemon and New Zealand grapefruit, though some claim it is a cross of a lemon and a mandarin”.
Wikipedia claims lemonades were “discovered” in New Zealand in the 1980s, so technically speaking they’re not Australian. But apparently they’re grown here, so I’m counting them among my Australian discoveries.
(Side note: I recently found out that some Aussies call magpies “maggies” and I think that is fabulous.)
You can eat a lemonade just like you would an orange. They’re sweet with a lemony tang. I’ve personally eaten a few bagfuls.
And when I was out searching for lemonades, I also discovered this beast.
If I’d gone to the store with my usual shopping list, in my usual frame of mind, I might have missed it. But because I was on the lookout for something new, I spotted the one and only monster cauliflower and immediately had to have it.
Turns out it’s a romanesco, a cross between cauliflower and broccoli. I wanted to keep it as a pet, I loved it so much. But it was going a bit off, as you can see on some of the tips, so I whipped it up into one of my favourite recipes, and it was delish.
Next time you’re in the produce section, I highly recommend asking what strange and offbeat fruit and veg might appear on the shelves. Unless you’re someone who already knows all about strange fruit and veg, in which case, please tell me about it!
If you enjoyed this post, you’d definitely enjoy one of my upcoming author talks. I’d love to see you there!