Grapes of Syria
Every fruit has its season. In the summer, there are melons and mulberries. In the fall, cactus and pomegranates. In the winter, there will be oranges. And then, there are grapes, which have been plentiful since I arrived.
If Syria were to designate a national fruit, surely it would be the grape. Usually green, but sometimes red, and always with seeds, they accompany breakfast, and follow lunch and dinner. And they are offered with tea in between meals.
The other day, Abu Mousa put out the usual plate of grapes after lunch. I ate about 10, then declared, diameh, which means, roughly, “Thank you for lunch, I’m finished eating now.” Abu Mousa, still eating the grapes, looked at me and asked, as if his feelings were slightly hurt, “Why don’t you like grapes?”
“I like them,” I said, attempting a diplomatic retort. “But, perhaps not as much as Syrians like them.”