When I was a child I loved to eat dried fruit. From the age of 2 until I was 9, I lived in the extreme north of Sweden in a town called Kiruna. I loved it, partly because I didn’t know anything else I suppose but mostly because it was a great place to be a child in; we were out playing all the time, in the enormous wild cemetery in the summer and in the snow during the winter. And there was a lot of snow and for a lot of the time. Skiing, skating and sleigh riding, I have very vivid memories of the things we did in winter but less of those without snow. I don’t think my mother liked it up there, now and then she got crazy and had to go to south to Stockholm for a week, just to feel that tingling sensation of life in a city. And I do understand her; first of all it was dark in the winter, we have a short series photos of the shortest day in winter(you don’t need many to document that) and there you can see the sun working itself above the horizon and then going down again. They told me that you could see the sun for 15 minutes that day. Then it was the food, I don’t have any particular memories of fruit and vegetables and I think it is because there weren’t that many around at that time and place. I’m sure we were fed what was for sale but my real memories of fruit are dried apple rings and raisins, probably the best my parents could get for our everyday fruit intake.


I still like dried fruit but I rarely eat it nowadays, here in Italy I have so much fruit to choose from that it never enters my mind to get dried fruit except for my Christmas baking because there has to be a Christmas cake on the table, it is one of my few Swedish contributions to an otherwise completely Italian Christmas dinner. But now I have begun to make my own dried fruit and I have to say that it is quite nice to nibble on a slice now and then. So far I have made dried persimmon slices and I can tell you that it’s worth the effort. Not that it was much of an effort because all I did was slicing a Fuyu persimmon with a mandolin into very thin slices and putting these side by side on baking paper on a baking sheet and then I baked them in the oven in very low heat 50° C / 122° F until they were ready, it took something like 1 1/2 hour I think. I read somewhere that the temperature should never be higher than 60° C/ 140° F if you want the fruit to be crispy. Oh, and I turned the slices over sometime in the middle!