Discovery of the Year: Greengages

Discovery of the Year: Greengages

Posted by: Darren in Grow Your Own
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How I managed to reach 38 years of age before tasting my first greengage is completely beyond me. But that’s what has somehow happened; until I took a flier on a punnet from Sainsbury’s a few weeks ago, I was a complete greengage novice.

This small-ish, green member of the fruit family looks like a small, sour, unripe plum and if you try to eat one before they’re ripe then yes, that’s exactly what you get.

But wait until they’re soft-to-the-squeeze and a lighter shade of green, or even better until they’ve yellowed slightly and feel like they could burst if you squeezed a bit too hard and you’re in for a genuine treat: rich, sweet, juicy flesh that tastes simply amazing.

They’re in season now and can probably be found in the major supermarkets as well as good greengrocers. Prices vary – our local deli is asking £2.60 a kilo (source unknown), Tesco is asking £1.50 for 250g of Portguese imports, that Sainsbury’s punnet was a quid for maybe 200g (still a good couple of dozen fruits) brought in from Spain. But the best Jo and I have found was the old bloke at Gloucester farmer’s market last Friday lunchtime: 60p a pound (about 1.1 kilos). Great sales technique, too: “‘Ere. Try one!” Guaranteed to work every time (as long as you don’t pick one that’s a darker-green shade of sour…)

I tell you, if I ever plant another fruit tree or decide to grow any in pots, then a greengage will be the first on the shopping list.

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Darren Turpin

Gardener at Backyard Kitchen Garden
A passionate gardener with a speciality in growing fruit and vegetables on a budget!

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