Monday, June 21, 2010

Naked Fruit

Some people have a sweet tooth. I think I have several. I was never one to say no to anything sweet, and it runs in the family, so it wasn't considered a bad thing either. As I grew older however (and somewhat wiser, I like to think), and concerns about consuming sugar increased, I tried to stay away from too much sweet stuff. It was hard though, considering that I always craved for something sweet after every meal, even if it was just a tiny bit.

Over time, an easy way for me to transition from sugar laden treats was to eat fresh fruit for dessert. They provided the perfect satisfaction to curb that 'need' for a little something sweet at the end of dinner.

Fortunately for me, I am able to get great local seasonal fruit throughout the year. After regularly shopping for produce, I have also learned to discern among the varieties available, and have mostly zoomed in on my favorite farmers for each type, so I have started to enjoy the best of the season even more.

I really look forward to Pomelos in winter, for instance, which I had ignored initially. It was one of the things that drove me to ask, "Where were you all these years?" I also know now which Apples and Oranges of the season I prefer. May is for Cherries, and late summer is for stone fruit and Strawberries. Incidentally, I have found that strawberries taste better in late summer or early fall even though they are always attributed to spring. Figs are fragile beauties that are seen rarely so I buy them when I see them, and of course nothing says fall like Persimmons and Pears. Good Pears have a really short season here, but certain fruit stands have Pears that are really outstanding.

When fresh fruit is prepared and served, it does feel more like a elegant dessert or its own course, rather than when it is grabbed hurriedly from the fruit basket or fridge. Since there are no recipes needed here, all I am going to do is post some photos of my favorite ways to prepare fruit, with some serving suggestions.

Strawberries and Icecream

Strawberries: Slice off the bottoms, then cut each strawberry in half, and slice into bit sized pieces. Serve in a bowl, over a small scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream, about half of the volume of strawberries.

Persimmon: sliced

Persimmons: Slice off the green top. Peel the persimmon, then very thinly slice along the latitude, and serve in a wide plate. This works for just ripe Fuyu persimmons. Chill for a bit before eating.

Apple: peeled

Apples: Peel the apple. This is optional, but I love it that way. Remove the core, then thinly slice the apple and fan out into a wide plate. If the apple is not top notch, drizzle a little honey and a touch of cream. (A friend was quite shocked when I told her that I like to eat peeled apples, but this is about eating fruit for dessert.)

Oranges: three varietiesBlood Oranges

Oranges: Slice off the top and bottom end of the orange. Cut off the skin, cutting very closely to the flesh with a small paring knife until you have a bright orange ball left. Slice thinly along the latitude, or cut into segments.
L: Three type of oranges: navel, blood red, and fukumoto
R: Also blood oranges, but with many beautiful shades


Figs: Slice off the top and a bit of the bottom. Either serve whole or cut into halves.


Raspberries: Chill in the fridge and eat. Why mess with perfection.

Berries and Cream

Berries with orange scented whipped cream: Whip some heavy cream with a bit of sugar, and lots of orange zest. Serve it with strawberries, raspberries, or a combination.


Kumquats: If you are lucky enough to find them, remove the stems, wash, place in a bowl, and grab a few every time you pass the bowl.

Fruit for a picnic

Fruit Platter: I found this picture of fruit that I had prepared for a picnic a while back. Chunks of cantelope, sliced kiwi, strawberries with bottoms chopped off, and watermelon sliced into wedges. All you need is a fork.

While I was looking through pictures that I could use for posting here, I realized that I had already posted several pictures and to some extent even written about eating fruit on it own, proving my own point. See - cherries, mangoes, persimmons, pluots, strawberries, watermelon!

Extra Extra!

To redeem for the fact that I have a post with no recipe, I am going to let you in on a secret. I have been maintaining a parallel blog, which is a much untidier and more casual space. The main reason for having the other blog is that even though I try to make time to cook, many times there just isn't time to photograph the food, or to upload the photos, or to write about a dish in great detail. So that blog is where I keep notes, quick posts on what I cooked, what worked, what didn't, and many other things, and it is aptly called "Evolving Notes". If this main blog is the dining room, then think of the other one as the kitchen.

It is open by subscription, so if you would like to take a peek, just send me an email to evolvingtastes[at]gmail[dot]com, and I will add you to the list.
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