Persephone and her pomegranate

It’s contagious, Denver. Spring Fever. We’ve had days of sixty-degree weather the past couple weeks (we will call today a blip) and my family and friends on the East Coast seem to be done with their winter already.

“Oh, I thought about you when I was at the beach and I’m on the phone with you while I’m lying on the porch in seventy-five-degree weather, blahblahblah.”

Bite me.

Of course, we all love the snow and that’s why we live in this glorious state. But when we get that first taste of spring, be it a gust of warm breeze through the window or a glimpse of Prada’s quirky/retro sunshine-y ads throughout Vogue‘s March issue, we just can’t wait to frolic in Wash Park, sans parka.

My fever started with an orange.

In the chilly months, I find it hard to get down with fruit sometimes, mostly due to the fact that my faves are found in the summertime, when the livin’s easy. Oranges and apples sure do get old by January, let me tell you.

This particular orange was different.

The first peel revealed a flesh that seemed to almost glow. I blinked and tilted it toward the window, thinking it was a trick of the light. Nope. I finished peeling it and I was holding a vibrant pink and white orb, much too dark and small to be a grapefruit and much too pink to be a blood orange. I separated a segment and put it on my tongue. The tangy explosion that hit my taste buds when I bit in to that sucker floored me. I snatched up a second one from the counter to learn what to call this trickster treat.

Ah, Cara Cara.

The name alone was enough to transport me to an island far, far away full of days in bikinis and drinks in coconuts. According to sunkist.com, Cara Caras are from Venezuela and have recently been dubbed “The Power Orange” by Sunkist because they’re chock full of antioxidants and vitamins.

These paradise-island oranges made me think of all the other winter-to-summer fruits I never pay attention to in my zombie crawl through the produce section, eyes glazed over at the thought of summer’s mangoes, watermelon and honeydew.

My boyfriend Brad and I experimented with a starfruit (we may have had to Google how to cut one so we didn’t accidentally eat something poisonous) and we were delighted to find that it had the refreshing taste of kiwi, the tanginess of strawberries and the crunch of apples.

And what about the pomegranate, the fruit of Persephone, the bringer of spring herself? My new favorite way to eat this messy fruit is in a breakfast dish my friend T-lish made on Christmas morning: Greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. I added a handful of chopped walnuts to mine.

So, you see, Denver, spring can’t be so terribly far away with all these delicious and mouth-awakening fruits filling our grocery stores. For now, let’s enjoy one of the last snow days of the season with a big mug of hot chocolate and a Cara Cara. Because what goes better with chocolate than an orange?

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