Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fruit Frustration

You know, there are some things in this world that I just don't get: women, communism, grits, etc. Fine, so I don't know it all; I can live with that. But the one thing in this world that frustrates me to no end is fruit.

allow me to explain.......

I love fruit though sadly I don't eat nearly enough of it. As a part of my New Years Resolutions for 2012, I'd promised to adjust my diet (slightly) by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my daily routine. At home as most Caribbean people tend to be, I was a fruit fanatic; I'd practically suck a bucket of dous dous mangoes by myself. Silk fig? Yes please and not to mention pomerac, pommecythere, guava and my absolute favourite, the sapodilla.

But here's the thing about eating tropical fruits; they come with a handy dandy, colour-coded guide to freshness. See it's simple:

Green - not ripe
Brightly coloured  - ripe/ready to eat
Dark Brown - throw that shit away and/or cuss the fruitstand man.

This method is so fool-proof that we don't even use the term  "unripe" at home. All unripe fruit are simply referred to as "green." Can't make a good mango chow without green mango now can you? I'm sure there are many of you that won't go a week without green fig and buljol or green fig with stew chicken.

Smell it.......feel it up

And if you so happened to be colour-blind, you still had your senses of smell and touch to aid you. In most cases,  rock hard fruit with little to no scent was unripe, slightly firm but fragrant meant ripe and ready to eat, and lastly soft and squishy, runny and foul smelling again meant cuss the fruitstand man. Even if you couldn't tell by touch feel or smell, such as is the case with watermelon, we trinis developed an ingenious method of quality assurance, the vendor would just cut the damn thing to give you a taste.

I bet you all remember those little triangle-shaped wedges cut into the watermelons that your parents brought home.

But temperate climate fruits are an entirely different animal altogether. Even after living in the US damn near 10 years, I still have trouble telling the difference between ripe, unripe and spoiled when it comes to most fruits. Apples, plums (the american ones obviously), peaches etc are especially difficult for me. I just don't get it; whether an apple is unripe, ripe or long past spoiled, the colour never changes and neither does the firmness to be honest with you, not to me anyway. Plums are a favourite of mine but too often I come home with a bag of plums that all taste like ass. (you ass connoisseurs out there know what I'm talking about).

The Americans in my life say that I need to take the time to feel the minute differences in firmness. The fruit should be firm but should have a little "give" but not too much "give."


I won't be at Kroger molesting fruit anytime soon. Ya'll can forget that shit.

I seem to have had success with gala apples though so I think I'll be buying those exclusively from now on. Next week I'll try my hand at picking melons out.........cantaloupes and honey dew melons to be specific. Honestly I can't go wrong there I'm thinking, they taste the same no matter what state they're in.

I'll let you know how that goes. Later


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