More golden apples

Not so long time ago a tiny, tightly closed box was washed ashore by the waves of the River Wang at the land of the jötunns. Some kind-hearted giant passed by, found the box, read the address on it, and passed it on to the postal authorities of the ordinary human mortals for delivering it to the addressee, which happened to be me. I am pretty glad that he did not deliver it to me in his own high person, because he saved me from getting a heart attack again:

And what a surprise I found in the small box: six golden apples from Wang Wei’s sunny garden!

While I was wondering what would be the most honourable and respectful way to prepare these fruits in my kitchen, I placed them in my window in order to let them be caressed by the first rays of the early spring sun and to ease their homesickness for a while.

Since that day a lot of water flowed down on the River Wang, and today I can proudly present you for the accounts of no less than two princely dinners whose splendour was definitely brightened by these lemons. For the first, a couple of weeks ago we were visited by the fiancé of my oldest son from Bremen, for whom we served some fresh home-made falafels. We did so partly because the fiancé, Leonie does not really like to eat meat, partly because in her home country the only really well-known dish of Middle Eastern origin is that ghostly gastronomical perplexity called gyros, and so we would love to present her a really delicious Middle Eastern dish. And as one of the indispensable ingredients of a tasty falafel sandwich is rich tahini sauce with lemon juice and parsley, we decided to offer one of Wang Wei’s Mallorquine lemons for this noble purpose.

Leonie fills the laffa, this Middle Eastern bread with the falafel balls and other goodies with an expectant smile on her face, while the Hungarian inscription of the T-shirt worn by my son witnesses his commitment to the culinary pleasures of life: “Mostanában hasra gyúrok”, which can be freely translated as “In these days I am pumping my belly”.

I know that Pei Di’s keen eyes will not skate over the glass of the tearssheddingly and swelteringly hot Mango Pickles of the Patak brand misguidingly labelled as “Medium” – maybe they meant the size of the glass, not the intensity of the taste? – which I had the good fortune to taste already one year ago at his home at a magnificent Chinese dinner. The fact is that one can hardly imagine a real Israeli falafel without a couple of spoonfuls of the tangy mango pickle sauce called amba that was imported by Iraqi Jews to their new homeland. The jötunns do not really like – and I guess, do not even really know – this strong sauce, so in these parts I use to substitute it with the very similarly tasting Mango Pickles from Patak.

The second princely dinner took place just a few days ago: Wang Wei’s lemons had to live up to the high expectations set by one of the main delicacies of the jötunns, the freshly catched Norwegian salmon.

Marinade: Mallorquine lemon juice, freshly grinded blended pepper, Himalaya salt. Nothing else.

And what an unexpected reunion 2500 kilometres away from their native soil! As the old neighbour to my parents in Budapest said after the birth of her daughter, “I was expecting everything save this!”

In the salad we find more great natives of the Hesperides strengthening the Mediterranean unity: besides the lemons from Mallorca we have the cherry tomatoes from Granada and the cucumber from El Ejido, Andalucia that all made the long way to the land of the jötunns. Two places of honour go to the unfiltered olive oil coming from the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, from the hills of the Galilee, and to the provider of the spring onions, the country that did so much to turn Mallorca into a true paradise for tourists: Germany.

Three times lucky: not just the salmon and the salad, but also the yoghurt-dill sauce is prepared with Wang Wei’s lemons.

As Wang Wei told me once, the main virtue of a rustic kitchen is the simple preparation of good local raw materials.

Not a single grain will be wasted. The peels of Wang Wei’s pesticide free ecological lemons are kept in the freezer, waiting for being used to give the proper taste to the famous Hungarian Christmas cake, the beigli.

8 comentarios:

Studiolum dijo...

This is a perfect gourmand who not only prepares it but even writes about it in such a way that I feel the taste in my mouth a thousand miles away! I want it to be repeated on every Sunday shortly before lunchtime!

Megkoronáz A.J.P. dijo...

Slightly digressing from your interesting post, the idea that the Jotuns are from Jylland (Jutland) must be German. I'm not sure whether the German Jötunn and Jütland are cognate, although it sure looks that way. There's some etymology here. Living in Norway, we see Jylland as "down south", almost the Mediterranean, certainly not as a Wagnerian setting. I had felt sure that they came from Jotunheimen, the high mountains in southern central Norway, but I see now that that is a nineteenth century name. The Norwegian Wikipedia article compares this invention to Riesengebirge, between
Schlesien and Böhmen.

Liang Sheng dijo...

Well, I have actually not yet heard about the idea that the Jotuns are from Jutland. But now that you mention it I can indeed see that Wang Wei brings it up in his post on the giants of Mallorca, but I myself basically could not find any other sources for this idea. The only vaguely relating thing is a comment on one of the words in the poem Beowulf in the Wikipedia article Jutes. This hypothesis is not even mentioned in the Danish version of the same Wiki article.

On the other hand, the Danish Wikipeda article Jylland offers a plausible etymology of the word, tracing back the Danish ethnonym "jyde" - English "Jute" - through the Old Norse "jótar" to "ýtar" meaning "man". So no, Jotuns - "jætter" in Danish - and Jylland are not cognate.

My insistince on calling my part of the world "the land of the Jöttuns" is meant as a gesture to Wang Wei and his post about Mallorquine and Nordic giants.

Julia dijo...

What a delicious post!
Do you deliver?

Megkoronáz dijo...

Yes, i meant to say that salmon looks good.

Liang Sheng dijo...


No, but I am very hospitable. :-)

Liang Sheng dijo...


That was a huge compliment from one living in Norway! Thank you! :-)

Julia dijo...

:-) Thank you!
With that wonderful food as a promise... just wait for me, I'll be there soon! :-)