My father brought us a strange fruit he received as a gift from one of his South Florida colleagues. Monstera deliciosa, called ceriman or windowleaf, is a plant we actually see all over the woods near my in-laws’ home in Sebastian but we’ve never seen or tasted the fruit.
Yes, it’s just as strange tasting as it looks. It’s poisonous until it’s ripe. It’s ripe when the green scales come off and the flesh is soft. The texture of the flesh is exactly like an over-ripe banana but has kernels like corn on the cob. The flavor is like a very sweet kiwi or pineapple and like a kiwi it has little stinging hairs.
One bite actually made my lips swell and my mouth hurt, my daughter had an immediate reaction so she spit her bite out, and my boys both rather liked it. Apparently the reaction is fairly common. Unfortunately the fruit goes from ripe to stinking, rotting over-ripeness within a day, even though the rest was still unripe-poisonous, so we had to throw it away after only having one bite each.
Fall is definitely coming because the first greens were at the farmer’s market! I had to buy a huge bouquet of tatsoi. The rest of the haul was the normal haul: peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, persimmons, muscadines, goat cheese, mild chili peppers, sweet potatoes and a small pumpkin. Our pantry was already very full of odds and ends so I worked hard on a meal plan to use them up.
Monday: Tahiri style rice with sweet potato and pigeon peas, leftover meatballs
Tuesday: Spicy black bean soup, cheese quesadillas with sliced tomato and avocado
Wednesday: Pork and pepper stew, bread, sauteed greens
Thursday: Leftover chili
Friday: Thai summer rolls, steamed dumplings, leftovers