Drunken sticks and nuclear olives / Palos borrachos y aceitunas nucleares

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

The silk floss tree, often called palo barracho which means drunken stick, does well here in Southern Spain although it’s native to South America. It belongs to the same family as the baobab tree. There’s an impressive row of them running between the Centro Alameda train station and the Center for Contemporary Art Málaga. I made a point of walking over there last week because I knew they would be coming to the end of their bloom cycle. I was lucky to catch them before the flowers were all gone.

They’re called silk floss trees (or floss silk) because the fruits, 8-inch-long (20 cm) capsules, contain black seeds surrounded by fluffy, silk- or cotton-like material.

Today’s olives were served with lunch last week. The color put me off, but they were surprisingly delicious.

El arbol ceiba speciosa, comunmente llamado palo barracho, se desarrolla bien aquí en el sur de España, aunque es originario de América del Sur. Pertenece a la misma familia que el árbol baobab. Hay una impresionante hilera de ellos entre la estación de tren Centro Alameda y el Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga. Me propuse caminar hasta allí la semana pasada porque sabía que llegarían al final de su ciclo de floración. Tuve suerte de atraparlas antes de que se acabaran todas las flores.

En inglés se les llama árboles de hilo de seda porque los frutos, cápsulas de 20 cm (8 pulgadas) de largo, contienen semillas negras rodeadas de un material esponjoso similar a la seda o el algodón.

Las aceitunas de hoy se sirvieron en el almuerzo la semana pasada. El color me desanimó, pero estaban sorprendentemente deliciosos.

• We had burgers with my olives (SG hates olives). They were good but didn’t satisfy the craving.
• Comimos hamburguesas con mis aceitunas (SG odia las aceitunas). Estaban buenos pero no satisfacían el antojo.

A nuclear combination which might have worked with the olives. Anything goes on the beach.

• Una combinación nuclear que podría haber funcionado con las aceitunas. En la playa todo vale.

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Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

22 thoughts on “Drunken sticks and nuclear olives / Palos borrachos y aceitunas nucleares”

  1. Beautiful blossoms! What an exotic tree it is!
    Used to love olives……especially in a martini. Now I must watch my consumption of them due to the salt content. Maybe fresh ones is the answer.

    1. Jim:
      Unless you’re talking about raw olives (blech), fresh ones, unfortunately, are no different from the ones you buy in the supermarket. Same salt. I’ve read you can rinse them in cold water to get rid of a lot of salt. I wonder.

  2. Dear, you had me at 8 in long! Jokes aside they are absolutely stunning trees and blooms. Are they fragrant? And I love the trunk of the tree how the bulges outward.

    I would probably eat those olives I absolutely can gorge on olives.

    1. Mistress Borghese:
      I’ve read they have a subtle fragrance. I’ve never noticed it. Oh, well. Next time.

  3. Visiting in California and I am fascinated with the variety of trees and flora. Seems similar to the climate in your area of Spain. Makes me envious as we will return to the desert in a week.

    1. Frank:
      The first time I was in Andalusia I thought it looked just like Southern California. A majority of plants are the same.

  4. I love those trees! They remind me of a kapok. I bet they’re related somehow.

    Maybe that guy dresses brightly for the beach so he won’t be run over by a dune buggy.

    1. Steve:
      It IS a kapok. (I just looked it up.) “Kapok is a cotton-like plant fibre obtained from the seed pods of a number of trees in the Malvaceae family, which is used for stuffing mattresses and pillows, for padding and cushioning, and as insulation,” and the word may also refer to the trees that produce the fibre.

  5. I LOVE olives. All kinds of them. I would eat those green ones in a heartbeat. Your photos of the flowers are beautiful. And as always I love your photos of the various fashionistas that you see!

    1. mcpersonalspace54:
      I also love all kinds of olive. The color of these at first made me think it was food coloring. But they were good… and natural.

  6. Wow!! That ‘s one helluva floral display! It reminds me of the blowsy melodrama of Magnolia season in the UK. We’ve seen those “silk floss” trees – Ceiba (formerly Chorisia) speciosa – before, of course (there’s a particularly massive specimen just across the road from where the buses pull in at Puerto Malaga), but never in bloom… Jx

    PS I always find those olives-that-look-like-mints off-putting, too. I think I’d rather them to be olive-coloured, really.

    1. Jon:
      Those olives were more vivid than I’m used to but after I tasted one I got over it. The silk floss trees can be seen all over the city, many in bloom.

  7. Love the blossoms, but the burger is winning because I’m hungry and now I want a burger and how do I tell that to Carlos who is cooking “not burgers” for dinner?

    That outfit should be set ablaze, I mean, c’mon!

  8. Those silk floss blooms are amazing! The pink ones remind me of day lilies, though unrelated, I’m sure. The freshness of the olives is appealing, but the neon green not so much — I’d try them anyway cuz I LOVE olives…. the guy’s beach outfit featured reminded me of how poisonous snakes, frogs and fish don bright colours to warn off predators. One would think tourists would want to blend in with their new surroundings and not stick out like sore thumbs, LOL!

    1. Tundra Bunny:
      The silk floss flowers astound me. And what variety. The olives were delicious. The color was odd. Maybe the guy is poisonous.

    1. Kirk:
      Yeah, that’s misleading. The flowers are impressive, but not enormous. Perhaps about 6 inches wide.

  9. There is/was a single silk floss tree at Leu Gardens in Orlando, I never saw it bloom, the spikes in the trunk are a notable feature. The Leu’s traveled the world and collected exotic plants for their gardens, and when they died left the gardens as a park as a gift to the city.

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