Golden apples

Golden apples from Mallorca
Directly from the garden of the Hesperides – Vespertina, al-Sepharad, in short the Land of the Sunset –, what is more, directly from the Western Islands. The first crop.

Mallorca, Port d’es Canonge, lemon tree
The little tree from the garden sees the sea to the right, the mountains to the left and, down in the valley protected by the mountains, the olive tree plantation of Arabic origins of the estate Son Bunyola. In warm summer nights, when laying under the open sky near to the tree, you can hear the bells of the sheep grazing between the olive trees, and the breathing of the sea in the background.

Mallorca, Port d’es Canonge
Mallorca, Port d’es Canonge
Mallorca, Port d’es Canonge
Behind the mountains there live bears. Nobody has seen them in daylight, but at sunset they emerge from behind the mountain to the sky.

Mallorca, Port d’es Canonge
As Wang Wei dispatched the first fruit of the little tree from the Western end of the Mediterranean, so at the Eastern end of the Mediterranean a bottle with the majestic fruit of the Golan Plateau also set on the way thanks to Gyuri. The two ambassadors of the South met halfway, on our Christmas table.

The third ambassador of the South is the Iranian spice blend for the rice with almonds that we had received as a gift in the Isfahan bazaar. “Here only foreigners are served, or also Iranians?” a woman asked half-amusingly after the grocer having enthusiastically described to us for more than twenty minutes the subtle nuances between the different sorts of saffrons. “Only Iranians!” shouted merrily the grocer. “Cant’t you see that he’s Iranian, too?” he caressed with love my thorny beard, and he slipped a package of seven spices blend into the bag with the saffron.

Golden apples from Mallorca and golden Yarden wine from the Golan plateauThe gorgeous wine of the Golan Plateau – according to Gyuri the best wine in Israel – perfectly matched Iranian rice and the fish steamed on ginger according to Zhen’s Chinese recipe.

Golden apples from Mallorca and golden Yarden wine from the Golan plateauAnd lemons were as tasty as no other we have hitherto tasted.

Golden apples from Mallorca and golden Yarden wine from the Golan plateau
On the occasion of the New Year we hereby want to say thanks to all our friends for their love towards us. May God give all the best to them, and to us the possibility of meeting them several times on this or that navel of this world.

Golden apples from Mallorca
Odysseus Elytis: Ο Ήλιος ο Ηλιάτορας (The Sovereign Sun). Music by Dimitris Lagios, sung by Giorgos Dalaras (1982). First piece: The song of the Sun (omitting from the translation the two first lines of the introductory choir).

Εσείς στεριές και θάλασσες
τ' αμπέλια κι οι χρυσές ελιές

ακούτε τα χαμπέρια μου
μέσα στα μεσημέρια μου

«Σ' όλους τους τόπους κι αν γυρνώ
μόνον ετούτον αγαπώ!»

Από τη μέση του εγκρεμού
στη μέση του αλλού πελάγου

«Σ' όλους τους τόπους κι αν γυρνώ
μόνον ετούτον αγαπώ!»

Με τα μικρά χαμίνια του
καβάλα στα δελφίνια του

με τις κοπέλες τις γυμνές
που καίγονται στις αμμουδιές

«Σ' όλους τους τόπους κι αν γυρνώ
μόνον ετούτον αγαπώ!»
You rocks and seas
vines and golden olives

hear my word
as I follow my course:

I turn above all places
but I love this only one!

At the middle of the universe
among all the islands of the sea

I turn above all places
but I love this only one!

With its little rascals
riding on dolphins

with its nude girls
laying on the seashore:

I turn above all places
but I love this only one!

Mallorca and the Balearic Islands, Atlas of Janssonius

2 comentarios:

Julia dijo...

Desde Brasil y con tiempo limitadísimo de internet por los cuervos que tengo sobrevolándome para usar la máquina, al menos quiero dejar constancia de mi visita y de lo maravillosa que parece esa comida cosmopolita de fin de año). Gracias por los buenos deseos, lo mismo para vos!

A Két Sheng Szerelmese dijo...

This time it is me who has been endowed totally unexpectedly with the gift of golden apples from the sunny Western Islands of the Hesperides! Not quite the first crop, not even from the Hanging Gardens of Wang Wei - that means, they hang almost literally over the Mediterranean Sea - but very close to...

These lemons, wrapped in silk papers marked "Alcudia" were smiling at me from a fruit chest on the shelf of an Arabic grocery store in Copenhagen. And there is only one Alcudia in the whole world, at the North-Eastern shores of Mallorca, where the remains of the Roman town Pollentia and silky sandy strands await the visitors.

At my home, the lemons came to a company almost as noble as of their predecessors from Wang Wei. They were served as seasoning in a salad accompanying a speciality from Nazareth, freekeh with chicken. Besides the lemons the dressing was composed of a couple of spoonfuls of Rumi olive oil from Palestine and a pinch of Lebanese sumac. Rumi olive trees were cultivated in Palestine already in Roman times, so matching it with lemons from ancient Pollentia was a historically correct choice. And next time, if I remember to put the bottle in the fridge in good time, I will serve it with a nice glass of Chardonnay from the Golan Heights, thus fullending the culinary harmony between these gifts of the Mediterranea.