Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Scrumptious pickings

The verb to scrump is a wonderful word that conjures up, for me at least, images of Kentish autumns. To scrump is to take the fallen fruit, normally apples, from an orchard. This is one of my favourite times of year in the UK from where I have recently returned and a suitably non-controversial topic in which to venture/tip toe/sneak back into the world of the AsiaScribbler blog.
Kent, where I was born and brought up, is the Garden of England. This time of year the county’s trees are weighed down with fruit, like old men carrying home the shopping, the mornings are crisp, the ground is green, the leaves are turning and the air is fresh.
What’s more, this year’s harvest is one of the best ever. A report in the Independent wrote about “the exceptional sweetness of the fruit” this year. “Oddly enough,” the report continued, “this was prompted by the overcast, chilly weather in May. The light level at that time influences the eventual size of an apple. In effect, the tree decides how big its fruit is going to be. Grim weather meant smaller fruit, but fine, sunny days in June and July converted the starch in apples to sugar. Since the fruit had a smaller number of cells than normal, the sugar was concentrated. The delectable displays look even more tempting than normal due to cool nights in August intensifying their rosy blush.”
This year’s scrumping options are truly scrumptious.

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