Sunday, September 19, 2021

Ready To Fast?

 


Last week we celebrated the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), with fasting and prayers.

The day before, I left home in the morning without any breakfast , and by late afternoon I was famished. I stopped at an eatery and ordered a 'schawarma' portion ( a pita pocket stuffed with roasted  meat, salad, and chips)+ a small bottle of cold soda water. I ate it at a table outside. The portion was unusually spicy, and being very hungry, I ate it hastily.

 

                                                                      schawarma skewer

I reached home having a burning thirst and an upset stomach. I drank some water and tea, but  felt no much improvement. Suddenly,  my eyes fell on the bowl with sabra fruit (cactus prickle pear).  'Here comes my salvation', I thought. I remembered reading somewhere that the sabra calms down the digestive system by absorbing whatever irritates it.

Well, salvation it was. At the third fruit, I felt much better. In fact, I felt wonderful.

This fruit has always been a favorite of mine for its taste and texture (I even put it on the sidebar of my blog and I wrote a post on it in Oct. 2017). Now, I've learnt that "there's more to it than meets the eye" as they say. 

I was glad to be ready for next day's evening - the beginning of  the 25 hours of fasting, hours with no liquid, no solid food. The Yom Kippur day and the fasting are very important to me spiritually.

The sabra fruit is small but encased in a thick, semi- thorny peel . It's not cheap, but I always buy some when it's available at the grocery store.



 * Web pictures

 

46 comments:

  1. Shana tova! We ate plenty of light food just before the fast started, and went cautiously with wine. But juicy fruits are the best of all, even in late winter as it was here.

    I wonder if sabra fruit is available outside Israel? I don't think I have seen it in our markets here.

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    1. Shana Tova to you too!
      Well, I've learnt my lesson,although one can't be too cautious.
      I suppose the cactus prickle can be found at one of the supermarkets in your region.

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  2. I hope your fast is easy.
    I've never seen this fruit! We do have quite a few restaurants that specialize in shawarma, at least in the city!

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    1. Well, the Fast for this year is over (eve 15 Sept - 16 Sept.). Thank God it all went well. Hopefully, I got inscribed in the Book of Life.
      Yes,'shawarma' is a very popular middle-eastern dish.

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  3. We had lots of prickly pear where I grew up and my grandmother was bold enough to pick it. She would make jelly. It was very delightful. Thanks so much for the post. I'm glad you made the most of this fruit. All the best to your insightful post.

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    1. It's indeed a delightful fruit and so is the jam that can be derived from it. Your grandmother knew its value,and so fought the thorns to pick it.

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    2. Thanks for bringing up the fruit in your post. I see it in our grocery store ever so often.

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    3. You're welcome. I'm glad it's available at the store; people should get to know its benefits.

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  4. I don't think I have ever seen sabra fruit here. I will have to look for it.

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    1. It's not a fruit that attracts attention. You have to look for it. You might find it at the bigger markets or supermarkets.

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  5. Replies
    1. Indeed, it is. Especially if you're not allowed to do work that might make you forget the hunger. Yom kippur is a sacred day; you may pray if you wish, but not do any other work.

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  6. I've seen those prickly pear fruits at the Asian market, but they're priced a little too much for me to bring one home.

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    1. Here they grow wild in many places. Kids used to make some pocket money by picking and selling them at the side of the road.
      Things have changed; now the fruit is grown under supervision, and the price reflects the water and work done.

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  7. Replies
    1. Thank you, David. A good year to you too, with everything you wish for!

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  8. I had prickly pear fruit for the first time a couple of years ago and really like it.

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    1. What's not to like? It's a sweet,delicious fruit! It falls rather heavy on the scales because of the thick peel, and this affects the price, but I manage to have it around.

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  9. I have never had the sabra or prickly pear. I don't know if I've ever even seen them in the market but if I do, now I have to try one!

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    1. Give it a try if and when you see it! You've got nothing to lose; you may even like it and decide to buy it sometimes, or even regularly.

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  10. In Sicily, a prickly pear-flavored liqueur called ficodi is produced, flavored somewhat like a medicinal aperitif. In Malta, a liqueur called bajtra (the Maltese name for prickly pear) is made from this fruit, which can be found growing wild in almost every field. On the island of Saint Helena, the prickly pear also gives its name to locally distilled liqueur, Tungi Spirit.

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    1. Dear Anonymous, thank you for the information on the prickly pear liqueur.
      I'm familiar only with the fruit and the jam (bought the jam in Crete, they don't make it here, as far as I know).

      Now, you tell us about the liquer derived from the fruit (ficodi, bajtra, Tungi Spirit). I can imagine how fine it is. I would gladly buy some for a taste.

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  11. Replies
    1. Agree; it's yummy, one of the many delicacies of Nature.

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  12. Thank goodness the fruit fixed you. Don’t think I’ve had that fruit.

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    1. I like your expression ' the fruit fixed you'. Yes, it did, thank God.
      Well, now ,at least, you know about the existence of the prickle-pear fruit, even if you haven't had the occasion to sample it.

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  13. So glad I read this. My Tom is still fighting that burning now and then from a bad experience in a Mexican restaurant earlier this past summer. I will look for this cactus fruit. Charcoal and tums fill our medicine cabinet. May the high holy feast days bring you much joy and peace!

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    1. Hope it helps him. I was under pressure of having to fast the next day, and no medicine to take, so I luckily remembered reading about the calming nature of the cactus pear.
      Thanks for the wishes of joy and peace. Amen!

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  14. Good to know! A natural remedy is always best. I've only had prickly pear "flavor"

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    1. Right. When I have a problem, I tend to try first home remedies: ice, lemon, tea, soda water, vinegar etc.. It usually helps.

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  15. Prickly Pears were one of my dad's favorites, but he grew up in Mexico where they called them Tunas. I never knew they were medicinal. A couple of years ago I bought some in the store and was not impressed with the taste even though when my dad used to give them to me as a child I loved them. Maybe the ones you eat are different. I'm glad they helped!

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    1. Hi, Alicia

      As far as I remember from reading, the fruit is originally from Mexico.
      The fruit doesn't 'catch the eye', it's covered with a thick ,thorny peel, but is moderately sweet and I like its texture.
      Like most fruit, it probably has some health benefits too.

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  16. Always learn so much on your blog. Now I have to check out Prickly Pears.

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    1. Glad you think so.
      The full name is cactus prickly pear. Since it is sweet inside and thorny outside, we call it sabra. Sabra is the name given to the israeli born, who is believed to be coarse outside and soft inside.

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  17. aqui me parece que le llaman higos chumbos o algo así, nunca lo she comido pero que bien que te haya solucionado el problema digestivo, menos mal. es bueno saberlo.

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    1. You've got the name right. Thank God, it has solved my urgent problem. I'll keep on buying it and having it at home.

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  18. Poor girl, at least you had the intention not to eat and gobbled down your food too quickly; I have never seen or eaten this fruit, or maybe on photos, but never seen on a market, but it's amazing that it helped you !

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    1. Yes, it helped me while in a state of emergency. On the evening of the next day, we were entering the sacred Yom Kippur with its 25 hours of fast, and I wished to be ready for that.God sent me the fruit to rescue me.

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  19. Spicy food and I are not compatible at all Duta and avoidable whenever possible. Good to have had the sabra fruit readily available.

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    1. I'm not fond of spicy food either. I was surprised. The portion was "unusually" spicy. Hence the thirst and the upset stomach. But, as they say 'all's well that ends well'. Thank God.

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  20. I've never had sabra fruit.
    I am pleased it helped you.

    All the best Jan

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    1. I"ll paraphrase the saying with the apple : 'a sabra a day keeps the doctor away'. It won't be far from truth.

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