Have you heard of Nisperos? Have you tried them?
One of the best parts about learning to eat and live in season is you look forward to the time of year when one of your favourite fruits are in season to be able to savour them at their most delicious. I honestly hadn’t thought about or noticed the difference before shifting my dietary habits to seasonal eating.
Whether its strawberries, tomatoes, cherries or nisperos, there is a world of difference and well worth waiting till the time is right to indulge.
Nisperos are common here in Spain and in season during the Spring time. In Menorca, they are ripe and enjoyed towards the end of Spring, right before the other summer stone fruits start their season.
If you haven’t heard of Nisperos (as I had not before I moved here), here is your introductory guide to this local fruit one of the delicacies Springtime in Menorca.
Varieties Found in Spain
In Spain, nísperos are cultivated in different regions, each boasting its own variety. The most common varieties found in the country include “Algar,” “Tanaka,” and “Madrid.” While Algar and Tanaka varieties are widely grown in mainland Spain, Menorca is home to the unique Algar variety, known for its exceptional flavour and sweetness.
Nísperos in Menorca are typically in season from late winter to late spring, usually between February and June. During this time, the fruit reaches its peak ripeness, offering a delightful balance of sweetness and tartness.
Cultivation and Harvesting
Nísperos thrive in warm Mediterranean climates, making Menorca an ideal location for their cultivation. The trees are generally small to medium-sized and prefer well-drained soils. The harvesting process begins when the fruit attains its vibrant orange colour and reaches optimal ripeness. The delicate nísperos are hand-picked to ensure careful handling and preserve their exquisite flavour.
Nísperos are not only delicious but also offer a range of health benefits. Rich in dietary fibre, vitamins A and C, potassium, and antioxidants, they contribute to overall well-being. The fruit’s high fibre content promotes healthy digestion, while antioxidants help combat oxidative stress. Additionally, nísperos provide a good dose of vitamin A, supporting healthy vision and immune function.
Resemblance to Other Fruits
Nísperos have a unique flavour profile and texture that sets them apart from other fruits. Their sweet and tangy taste resembles a blend of apricot, mango, and peach, with a hint of citrus. The flesh is juicy and tender, similar to a ripe plum or nectarine. And just like ripe plums or peaches, can be very juicy too!
Where to Buy
To savour the exquisite nísperos, you can find them at local farmers’ markets, fruit stands, or specialty grocery stores in Menorca. Look for vibrant, plump fruits with a rich orange colour and a slightly soft texture, indicating optimal ripeness.
Peeling and Eating
Peeling and enjoying nísperos is simple. Start by gently rinsing the fruit under cool water to remove any dirt or debris. Using a sharp knife, make a small incision at the top of the fruit, just enough to break through the skin. Then, gently peel away the skin to reveal the juicy flesh. Nísperos can be eaten fresh and enjoyed as a standalone snack or added to fruit salads, desserts, or smoothies to enhance their flavour.
Nísperos are a true delight for the senses for fruit lovers. Explore the local markets, savour the sweet tanginess of the Algar variety, and indulge in the goodness of this exquisite fruit.
Grab a bag whilst they are still in season this month!