Aug 17, 2008

Fruit for Thought

In the first entry of what may possibly become an ongoing series called “conversations I’ve had at least five times” I explore the strangely reoccurring question of “What is your perfect five fruit salad?” This is not to be confused with the more common and less interesting question of “What are your favorite five fruits?”

The goal here is no different than most endeavors of idealic chow: maximize varieties of texture, taste, smell, and sight without sacrificing the innate aesthetics of its stand-alone components.

1. Elberta Peach. While Left Coast aficionados continue debating the availability of decent peaches in New York City I would contend that even a substandard specimen is worthy of inclusion. The skin-on peach should be as ripe as possible while still being able to maintain its cut, sectioned shape.

2. Ruby Red Grapefruit. To achieve maximum results in my sole citris ingredient painstakingly peel off the sectional skin membranes for preferred access to each juicy globule.

3. Prickly Pear. The mouth watering dye red flesh of this strangely crunch satiating, underrated fruit MUST be served ice cold. The only drawbacks are the virtually imperceptible needles that quickly go from unpeeled fruit skin to the skin between your fingers. Make sure you have a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers handy for help in dislodging these persistent pricks.

4. Fresh Black Mission Fig. The inner matrix of tiny seeds in this fruit that’s better known in its inferior “newtoned” presentation adds an unexpectedly pleasant tactile dimension. Slice in half with skin on.

5. Quince. This mysterious fruit was strangely plentiful during my sugar eating childhood in suburban Ohio. Its dry, spongy, tart complexion makes it the perfect apple/pear two-for-one.