Clementine

clementine

Though small and self-contained, the clementine holds within it a full sensory experience that waits for the first tentative scrape of its glowing orange peel to reveal a scent which cannot be imitated.  The bright, enlivening odor steals out, radiating from an epicenter of scored peel.  In the winter afternoons of my full-time teaching days, it was impossible to have an afternoon snack without attracting notice.  The scent dispelled the closeness of a small office in an old building, pushing back at the stupefying, dull 3 pm air with the energy of a beam of sunlight. A tangy sweet tartness follows soon after, the proper consummation of sight and smell. At its best, this is the taste of exploring Valencia; of a winter evening in Barcelona, where we emerged from La Boqueria with two paper cones of jamon Serrano, a small block of queso Manchego, a baguette, and a sack of brilliant clementines–the ingredients of an indoor picnic. All this within a fruit that I can toss in the air and catch easily in the palm of one hand.

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