Postcard from Holly April 2021
Holly Martin, 29, is sailing around the world in her 27-foot-long Grinde sailboat, which she has christened the SV Gecko. She left Maine in the fall of 2019, from Round Pond Harbor on the Pemaquid Peninsula. Holly sent this “postcard” by satellite from the South Pacific, to the readers of Maine Women Magazine.
Some Fruits In-Season in French Polynesia
These green giants of the grapefruit family grow to about eight inches in diameter, with light green flesh. The locals slice them into eight sections and eat the fruit off the rind. Compared to its red and yellow cousins in the US, the French Polynesian pamplemousse is sweeter, with just a hint of tartness. One of these beasts is easily a filling snack for two people.
Right now, we’re in the height of mango season. They litter the roads, ditches, and forest floor. People are hired to sweep them from the streets. On hikes, I have to dodge them as they fall from the branches. Many variations of mangoes grow here, and from local people I’ve learned the same species can even vary from tree to tree. After many mango tastings, I too have begun to discover the subtleties of flavor. If I’m home, I slice the mango from the seed on either side and cut little squares into the flesh. If eating on a hike, I peel the skin off with teeth and messily devour.
Dangling temptingly from the trees, breadfruit grow even larger than pamplemousse—sometimes reaching a foot in diameter. The skin is a tough and dimpled neon green and about the thickness of a weathered potato. In fact, the starchy breadfruit is quite similar to a potato. Inside, the fruit is bright white and rather tough. My favorite local recipe is to slice it into thin wedges, soak it in saltwater for 10 minutes, and then fry it in a pan. The result is an exotic variation of a French fry.
These critters are everywhere, prolific and plentiful as weeds. The species here is smaller than what we’re used to getting from Hannaford’s. Tiny and sweet, they can be eaten in a few bites. Local people often gift me with giant stalks of them. These bananas make delicious pancakes, breads, and late-night snacks.