By Jo Rittey


6 for $5. Bargain. I carried them home from the market in my black string market bag, as they staunchly exuded their orange glow in the grey Melbourne day.


Tangelo. Sometimes called honeybells, although I have never heard that word cross anyone’s lips. The size of an adult’s fist apparently. Really? Which adult? There are a lot of adults and their fists are all quite different in size. This is such a puzzling description.


A tangelo is a hybrid of a tangerine and a pomelo or grapefruit and it is described as being ‘juicy at the expense of flesh’. Roll that phrase around your mouth. Now that is a sexy collection of words.


But back to the actual tangelo. Can you buy memories? If so, I paid $5 for 6 tangelos and a sharp and vivid evocation of the past.  These are good tangelos. With the taste of the sweet tangy juice on my tongue, I was in Tauranga on my grandparents’ orchard. The scent of orange blossom in the air, the sound of the chooks in the shed, the thought of later picking out the lumps from the willow pattern icing sugar jar and letting them dissolve on my tongue. And eating an orange that tasted like sunshine straight off the tree.

Marcel Proust was the first to use the term involuntary memory in his novel, A la recherche du temps perdu (In remembrance of things past). He describes an incident where he was eating a tea-soaked madeleine and a childhood memory of eating a tea-soaked madeleine with his aunt is suddenly triggered and along with it an exquisite sensation of joy and a series of memories about his childhood home and town.

Unexpected moments where we unwittingly unleash the essence of the past are priceless. They are portals between the present and what has gone before and there is a sense of calm that comes from them; all is as it should be. Life is unfolding and we should enjoy that.



Jo has an exotic (kiwi) accent, loves good food and wine and has just a touch of the required culinary cynicism when it comes to the misuse of apostrophes and the hype over kale.


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