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July 7, 2009 Rhapsody on Watermelon

Nothing says SUMMER quite as much as watermelon. Specifically, sinking your teeth into a giant pink-and-green triangle, ripping out chunks of crunchy, squishy, juicy goodness, feeling the juice run down your chin until only the giant green arc, echoing the curve of your giant smile, remains.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s easy to be a fruitarian in Morocco, during the summer months. Moroccan ecosystems range from my mountain aerie, good for apples (tfaH), cherries (lHub al-maluk, which translates literally as ‘the seeds of the king’), and corn (xilu) (which is not a fruit, true, but which still contributes to my summery bliss), down through the plains, home to grapes and olives (zitoon), all the way down to the Sahara. Along the way, we grow the best oranges (limon) in the world, along with watermelon (dlaH), cantaloupe (aftix, which is green here and tastes like honeydew melon), honeydew melon (swihilu, which I can’t distinguish from aftix unless I see the rind), mangoes (mangue), avocadoes (avocat), strawberries (tut), and more than I know I’m forgetting.

And they’re all available in souq for 4-20 dh a kilo – usually 5, but avocadoes and cherries are pricier. Yes, dear readers, I get delectable, melt-in-your-mouth, vine-ripened, candy-sweet farmers’ market produce a block from my front door, for about twenty-five cents a pound.

As the teeshirts say: Life is good. :)

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