Thursday, 22 September 2011

Picture of the day: Sweet dreams are made of bunches of chico

If there's any fruit from the Philippines that I miss terribly, it's the chico. This fruit has got to be one of the most delicious I have ever tasted. It's soft, sweet and juicy. And it smells of wine. The chico comes into season just before Christmas, which makes it extra special. There's nothing like biting into a succulent chico to remind you that Christmas is just around the corner.

I haven't had chico for a very long time as it's always summertime when we go to the Philippines. I had given up on ever seeing them again until a few years ago, when my colleague (and Johnny Depp lookalike) Pete turned up at the office with a brown fruit which he said he found at his local Tesco's. He had never seen anything like it before and  bought it out of curiosity.

The fruit looked suspiciously familiar.  I asked Pete what the fruit was called and he said it was labelled 'sapodilla'. I googled the name and sure enough, the Wikipedia page for the sapodilla told us that it is known as chico in the Philippines. Who would've thought it would somehow show up here in the UK? I told Pete that it was a popular fruit at home and that I hadn't seen one for a long time. He kindly offered me a bit, but I declined, thinking that if that chico turned out to be horrible then I'd have that taste in my memory, instead of the lovely one I've cherished all these years. Pete gave me the seeds instead. They're still here at home somewhere. I was tempted to plant them, but sapodilla trees need a tropical environment to flourish. They wouldn't have survived the frost here.

So here's my drawing of a chico. Don't let the bumpy brown skin deceive you. Its flesh is a nice smooth reddish brown with a smattering of black seeds. And the taste, oh, is simply divine. As far as I'm concerned, the chico is fruit royalty and this drawing is my humble way of giving it the honour and respect it truly deserves.

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