Tuesday, November 4, 2008

MOOSH-moo-lay!

Bet most of you don’t know what these are, and I didn’t either before I came here. They’re medlars, locally called mušmule (MOOSH-moo-lay) and they grow on shrubs or small trees. They’re very hard and acidic and become edible after being softened by frost or in storage. Then the inside is reminiscent of apple sauce. They can then be eaten raw, or used to make jelly, wine, and medlar “cheese," similar to lemon curd. The medlar is native to Persia and was also grown by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Medlars were very popular during the Victorian era. Since it’s a fruit that is ‘rotten’ when it is ripe, the medlar was used figuratively in literature as a symbol of prostitution or premature destitution. One of Geoffrey Chaucer's characters laments his old age, comparing himself to the medlar. I never cared for them, but I tasted some of the ones I bought for this photo, and they're not bad after all.

11 comments:

MuseSwings said...

How interesting! Thank you for another fascinating picture and informational post!

Tash said...

This is a new one for me. I think I've heard the word before in Serbian - never in English. Sounds tasty actually. Love the historical references.
(PS thank you much for responding to my questions)

Dan said...

I wonder how people figure out that these things are edible. I guess they see an animal eating them and figure they will give it a try too.

Interesting how they became a metaphor for the oldest profession and premature destitution (isn't destitution always premature?).

Louis la Vache said...

"Louis" says of the MOOSH-moo-lay,
heavy on the MOO....

Chuck Pefley said...

Sound quite disgusting. Yet, I've had that opinion about many foods over the years only to discover that reality tasted much better than fantasy. Take yogurt, for instance. I think I refused to even try yogurt until I was about 50. And a few years after discovering yogurt was tasty I finally found olives quite delectable. So, why not. Meddling is often fun :)

Riccardo said...

Oh.. interesting.... I've never seen that!

Bibi said...

Good point, Dan! I guess destitution IS always premature,and as far as I am concerned, it can stay away from me!

Becky said...

Hey, I've learned my something new for the day! Who says blogging isn't educational? :o) I like the composition of this shot, too. It's a beautiful still life shot.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I have not heard of this before but it does remind me, somewhat, of crab apples that are in the middle of winter.

Webradio said...

Very interesting post, Bibi...

Saretta said...

Interesting...never heard of those before! They have a lovely, intense color...do they have a particular smell?