Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Taste of Cortona, Installment #4: Abundant , Ambrosial Blood Oranges!

Blood oranges on display outside a Cortona store
Blood oranges are as beautiful as they are delicious. I never saw or tasted one until I was well into adulthood, and "my first time" I was as entranced by their ruby-to-orange-back-to-ruby color as I was by their sweet tartness.  Here in Georgia they can be hard to find, but in Italy they are abundant.  I love strolling down Via Nazionale in Cortona and seeing the display of fresh fruits and vegetables lining the old stone walls; I especially love how the sunlight reflects off of the vivid hues of a box of blood oranges. I can't resist: I purchase one to take back to my room, where later I cut it open and sink my teeth into its juicy  flesh. I love that this a pleasure but not a guilty one. I love to lick the crimson droplets off of my lips. I love how this fruit is as much a feast for the eyes as for my tongue. It's as if I have bitten into the Italian sun and swallowed some of its unique warmth and purity.

The fruit is so red that my white shirt is tracked with scarlet stains -- a typically "Del" sort of souvenir of my Cortona visit!

I will attempt a painting of this photograph soon -- I look forward to capturing the vivid color in pure pigment. I know that as I am pushing and stroking the pigment onto the paper my  mouth will water as my mind recalls this bright taste of Cortona.

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