Colorful Mid-September Delights

While this summer in Umbria was cruelly hot, the last few weeks have been gorgeous with a gradual and very gentle slide into fall.  Our late season plums and peaches are among the most beautiful and most
delicious of all our fruit.  My favorite is the mid-September white peach with subtle hues of the prettiest garnet/ruby/pink border.  When we began our restoration project of Genius Loci, as hard as we tried, there was simply no way to save the tree.  We asked the expert of the area to graft it for us before sadly digging it up.  While that  graft did not “take”, two years later we saw a tree shoot up from the area where we had dumped the soil and the broken roots of the trees.
Our favorite tree had come back from the dump pile to say hello and to begin producing its incredible peaches again.  It is not in the best spot in any way – nevertheless – it is thriving!  So when our other six peach trees are done and resting, Little Pinkie is at her best!  It is hard not to read into this that she simply knew how much she was loved and appreciated!

Umbria peaches in September

the beautiful color and incredible taste of the mid-September peaches from the improbable rebirth of “Little Pinkie” along with our succulent and brightly colored September plums.

colorful early fall salad

September is also the month of myriad bell peppers.  My favorite is the thin skinned “peperoni a corno” or, as some call it, “friggitelli”.  In early summer the green variety is more common – by September we have the sweet, tender, yellow and red varieties.  I love to slice them thinly with thin rings of new Cannara red onions, ripe tomatoes and paper-thin slices of just-picked baby zucchini.  Dressed with a drizzle of our Genius Loci organic extra virgin olive oil and a drop or two of  the 25-year aged Modena balsamic vinegar (brought to me so kindly by a guest), a fresh coarse grind of pepper and Cervia  “sweet” salt – it makes the perfect dinner for this Indian summer.

summer salad

the colors alone could not be more inviting.  Another perfect example of when “less is more”.  Simple food of quality ingredients, respected and treated gently!


-Mary