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RAISIN THE CURRANT STANDARD: A POST WITH A-PEEL
I'm really weird about fresh fruit. I love it, but it has to be perfect. It has to be just right.

Take apples, for instance. I can't eat most apples, they're too gooshy and the peel comes away from the flesh and feels like a wet sticker, still with the adhesive on, that slightly mushy fruit meat. I only like Royal Gala apples: so crisp and clean and crunchy with a peel that seems like part of the fruit, like a coating of flavor instead of skin.

I like d'Anjou pears, the ones that look terrible, bruised and swollen, that give to a push but just so far and no further. They bite with a clean, sweet balance just right between crisp and soft and give an enormous burst of flavor. Japanese pears are great, too, with their pear taste and apple crunch; the best of both worlds.

I love seedless grapes, the big purpley ones, but not the ones that are so dark as to be almost black. I mean the ones that shade from dark dark pink to burgundy with maybe a touch of green highlight, they're almost red, actually. They're like a little sweetness bomb, each one. I like seedless green grapes, too, but often they can be deceiving: plump and water-filled enticements that reveal themselves as too tart too late. Best is red and green together, a big pile tumbled in a bowl, glowing with freshness and beaded with cold water from washing.

Small nubbly clementines, the kind that feel loose within their thick rinds, make me light up. They're quick to open, that fat glowing sunshine peel coming off practically in one piece, but slow to clean up, as I insist on removing every bit of inner rind, those white strings that run up and down each section. The firmness of each section as it's separated, the bright and juicy bite, the sharpness and taste of pure summer despite their winter seasonality, O small orange!

Smooth and creamy canteloupe slices, fat frozen blueberry buttons, solid and savory strawberries cut up and lightly coated in cream with a sprinkle of sugar. Perfectly stingy-sweet circles of pineapple, just cold enough to tingle on the tongue. And while I've always liked the TASTE of banana, I'm not at all keen on the texture.

I just took a pear from the refrigerator and sliced it in half and then again in fourths. It was shiny and slick on the inside, not quite white. I sliced again to remove the stem and core quarters from each piece and then I sat down and ate it. I took the first bite and then I had to eat the whole thing all at once, it was that good.

It was the best pear ever, so far.

***

Some anagrams for my full name:

UNSHAKEABLE NETHER GLITZ
UNTHINKABLE HAZEL EGRETS
BLANKET ULTRAHIGH SNEEZE
LEAKING HAZELNUT SHERBET
BANANA GEEZER THISTLE HULK
STARGAZE HATH NUBILE KNEEL

Want some for yourself? Internet Anagram Server
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mood: peaceful
music: Steve Winwood—Arc of a Diver


Comments

I'm the same way. I've never been able to buy a peach here that I liked. No watermelons either. :( In Texas I would go to peach orchards and pick them from the tree. *sigh*

In my personal fruit echelon, peaches don't fall particularly high, though I've nothing against them...I just don't eat them very often. But I think you're right about the watermelon here. I've tried many times and have never liked it (doesn't help that it's not one of my faves to begin with)...it just seems tasteless and ALL seeds.

That anagram thing's crazy kewl.

The best peach I ever had was summer before last. I picked it right off the tree out at the farm. The sun had been warming it. It was perfect ripe. Soft but firm. And the air around it smelled like a kitchen smells after Mom takes the peach cobbler out of the oven. Yumm. Was that ever a good peach.

Mmmmm! Peachy!

oh, i love asian pears!

i am a self-proclaimed fruit snob. i'm incredibly picky... i enjoy fruit so much, it just has to be good fruit. i am very, very lucky, being in california, where the markets routinely provide firm, fresh fruit. oh, the nectarines!! i know what you mean about bananas... i have to catch them at just the right time, when they're almost ripe enough to eat, before they can get the least bit smooshy, when they still taste a little bit green.

I like my fruit a little under-ripe by most people's standards. I love Royal Gala apples and very early, still green Golden Delicious ones. But not once they turn golden.

Bananas have to be still green and hard to peel. I can't touch a yellow banana, so I buy them green, eat what I want for two days, then wait two days more and Lars-Göran can start to finish them off. When I'm not at home to smell the "ripe banana" smell that turns my stomach. Needless to say, I could never make a banana cake nor eat the peculiar banana-curry topping they have on pizzas here.

My favourite fruits are fresh, firm mangoes and mangosteens (which you never see in Sweden). I also love lychees and rambutans but I haven't seen them here either. I guess I'm a tropical gal at heart. Though I have come to love the more temperate berries here, especially tramping through the woods and picking those plump little blueberries!

I was so thinking of you when I went to the library yesterday and picked up the latest book by this author. The combination of names was a little startling at first.

And have I mentioned that WE HAVE SNOW!!!!!

I remember boggling a bit the first time I saw Karin Slaughter's name on a book cover, too. :)

I should try green bananas, it sounds like I would like them. Otherwise, I'm like you about the ripe ones: ew! And cooked bananas?? DOUBLE-SLIME-EW.
Although, I do have to say that I like banana cake and banana bread.

I've actually seen both lychees and rambutans (although I've never bought them because I don't know what to do with them) in our local ICA...they have quite a nice small selection of tropical and "exotic" fruits/veggies, which I think is so great. They didn't have any of that when I first moved here...heck, they didn't even have seedless grapes back then!

And shut up about your snow...it's been pouring down rain all damn day. *grumble*

Is it raining in Skåne? Really? How very unusual.....

Did I mention that the trees look like they have been sprayed with puffy marshmallow? Oh look, tiny white flakes are gently raining to the ground....

I was pretty stunned that she was also Karin rather than the more common Karen. I bet you did a double take.

I'm sure if I went to some fancy place like Östermalm's Saluhall I could probably find these exotic fruits at a price to make my eyes water. I miss not having them in the local supermarket. You haven't lived until you have eaten a mangosteen!



We had a tree at home, so I was particularly spoiled. It was a little cool to grow them in Adelaide and I had to hand pollinate it (as I did with my custard apple tree) but the results were worth the effort. It deserves its title as "Queen of Fruits" (be careful, though. The purple juice from the skins stains som fan)
With the lychees, they have a thin crinkly skin. I usually just bite into it carefully, then peel away the skin from my bite marks and pop it into my mouth. It's a firm, sweet fruit that is pale pink and similar in texture to a grape and has a single very large seed.

The rambutans (or hairy balls as my son always called them) we used to buy in big bunches and bite through the skin (it's quite thick, but easily pierced and then eat the delicious pale pink fruit inside (like this). Okay, so he used a knife. I'm not so civilised :)

That rambutan page was really interesting...funny to think that they are the "apple of the South Pacific" :)

When they're in season, Willys (and recently I saw Coop) sell mangostan for about 80-100 SEK/kg. Most people would jump backwards at that price.

Unfortunately, by the time the fruit have arrived here, they have turned from being the queen of fruits to dry, bitter stones of evil. I bought one or two a few years ago, and was MIGHTLY DISAPPOINTED after hearing how lovely this fruit is. There was not a single gram of the fruit left to eat, unless you like to grind down the bitter peel and serve on top of icecream or something.

I have bought at least one of almost every exotic fruit that appears in the stores over here, and so far I think my favourite (a.k.a. the one that best survies transport) is cherimoya. Not only did it still taste good, it was full of big seeds that I potted. One year later, I have my whole windowsill full of BIG cherimoya plants with GIANT leaves. They grow better than any apple or orange seed you ever have planted indoors. In the wild, they're supposed to become big trees, which of course never will happen in my apartment, but it was exciting to see them take off so well.

My favorite is "leaking hazelnut sherbet."

I'm pretty partial to that one, too! The list was endless, so it was hard to pick out a few that actually sort of meant something. :D

While not really being fruit, I'd like to tell you I tried that celeriac recipe with honey, curry and cinnamon today. It was good, but when served with a bulgur risotto flavoured with chili, onion and everything else, the tiny bit of cinnamon pretty much was lost. The sweetness from the honey though shone through, although I cheated and used the cheapest kind of product available in the store, something called glucose syrup with honey (flavour). It tastes like honey but has the consistency of syrup. I'm sure it will work well to sweeten my homemade breads too.

Oh, and for an evening snack I whipped together something that is a cross between the ranch dressing recipe I found for Beverly, and this celeriac recipe. I chopped one small scallion, added 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp dried herbs. Then I added 1/2 dl of mayonnaise, 1 dl of milk, a knife's touch of honey and 2 tsp of vinegar. I sliced a small bit of raw celeriac into the "soup", added a bit of sesame seeds, some fine bread crumbs and 1/2 dl of wheat meal until it became thick. Then I poured everything in a frying pan for a few minutes, like a pancake. It didn't bake like a pancake and looks like something that came up the wrong way, but it tastes much better than it looks and sounds; sweet with a hint of herbs and spice. It probably won't make the Nobel Prize party, unless served with more elegance.

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