“What is the difference between a québécois summer and an Algerian one?” you may ask.
These days, nothing really, except perhaps a few degrees and a humidex measurement. Your vegetable farmer has gone AWOL for a short spell, just long enough for a quick visit to the Numidian country from which he hails to take care of some administrative matters and to visit family members.
It had been a very long time since I last visited my home country in July.
Weather-wise, spring visits are ideal, early winter visits are do-able…but July! It felt like the heat had been waiting for me: it pounced, as soon as I exited the plane. Almost as if to remind me that nothing would/could be done with haste on this trip. It was going to be a slow burn.
That said, this interlude has convinced me that,
while on the one hand, one can indeed commit
a crime and blame the heavens,
as demonstrated by Mersault in Camus’s L’Étranger; on the other, there is nothing more flavourful and delectable than in-season fruits – which, these days in Algerian markets, include sweet and perfumed peaches, impossible-to-grow-in-Quebec Canary melons and torpedo-sized watermelons, a variety likewise impossible-to-grow-in-Quebec given their heft. In another note, I’ll wax lyrical re the merits of eating local and in-season. In the meantime, I am getting my fill of the summer smells and flavours of my childhood in a brief detour down memory lane.
MEANWHILE, TO INTERESTED PARTIES…
Les Marchés publics de Montréal, in collaboration with le Magazine Caribou, recently published on their website an article on the farm written by the journalist Sophie Allard. We were pleasantly surprised by, and even a bit proud of, what she wrote about us — to read more, click here.