For me, greengages remind me of France. So they should really as they were first grown in Moissac, France and were named Reine Claude Verte or for some, just Reine Claude (French for 'Queen Claude'). These green and sometimes yellowish plum-family fruits are truly one of my favourites. As a kid I'd travel to France with my family on the annual summer holidays. Whilst in France, my parents were driven to distraction by the fact that I'd eat only two foods - salads and fruit - both very recognisable in their make-up. I could easily identify salad leaves, tomatoes and eggs and also any variety of different fruits, with the exception of greengages which were new to me. Fifty years on and I have never forgotten the impact that greengages had on me. The taste was so much more different and enjoyable than any other plum I have experienced, and I spent the entire summer picking through the fruit bowls I was offered at the dining table targeting the greengages. I never tired of them.
Despite having lived in France in 2006 I never really saw much of the greengages again during that 50 year period, apart from one supper party. Now in Spain I have become reacquainted with them. Frankly, I still consider them to be one of the tastiest fruits around. I've never attempted to cook with them, only ever having them in their raw state, but I find they go great with a variety of different cheeses. [Cheese is my biggest culinary weakness]. They are also great for chutney's and sweet jams. I'm sure too that they make great tarts or pies but I'll leave the experts to making those for the time being.
Here we just delved into them with some English cheeses and strawberries, a bit of crusty bread and chutney.
Later I used the greengages sliced in a salad with warm goats cheese as the main star of the dish. The accompanying relish was homemade mango-chutney.
Of course being a fruit you'll wish to know what health benefits these fruits offer so here goes;
They really are an interesting fruit and if you have yet to try them I urge you to get down to the supermarket or weekly farmer's market and see for yourself.....but please leave some for me!