Tag Archives: fruit

Grapes

Phew… after all that work on Dairy (milk and yogurt) and then salt, I’m glad to be moving on to a sweeter project…grapes! They are nature’s bite sized morsels and the passion of many an oenophile. You don’t see raspberries getting such attention.

Now one may ask oneself, “which came first, domesticated grapes, or the production of wine?” Archaeologists are fairly certain that wine making came first, as it was quite easy to go out into the woods, and pick grapes without planting and harvesting. That it took nearly 2000 years between the time wine production is first reputed to have taken place (6000BC) and the time that grape domestication took place (4000BC) strikes me as a bit unlikely. One of the several motivating factors in innovation is the desire for mankind to find a more efficient means of altering our state of sobriety. But this is only my take on it.

Regardless, we know that viticulture was taking place in the in the Tigris-Euphrates region around 4000BC. Grapes were also mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh, recognized as one of the first recorded pieces of literature. It’s been around for a while.

The grape is the most widely planted fruit crop in the world. It is produced into dried fruits such as raisins, currants and sultanas, and beverages such as wine, brandy and good ol’ reliable grape juice. Every continent, save one, produce some variety of the fruit. Not many plants get that kind of exposure, including many of the grains that we take for granted.

So in the next few weeks, expect several posts and three, count ‘em, three recipes based off of grapes. I may include extra recipes for raisins and currants, but I haven’t decided fully as yet.

As always, comments, suggests and requests are welcome.

Technorati Tags: Foods, Grapes


Tasting Notes: Cherimoya

Cherimoya
Another week, another new fruit discovered in the aisles of our QFC. It’s very odd walking through this less than average supermarket, and then discover the one thing they do right: find odd and unique fruits. Color me impressed.

Also color me befuddled when I came across the this green-scaled fruit. My initial impression is that it looked like the heart of a dragon. Then reality set in, and I thought “No no. That’d be silly. A dragon’s heart would look like a muscle. Then reality really set in when I remembered that dragons don’t actually exist. Such are the conversations that go on in my head.

The cherimoya is believed to be native to the valleys of Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. From their it followed the path of the avocado and ended up in Mexico, followed by California in 1871, when Mexican seeds were transported and planted in the new state.

Eyes: Like I said, the fruit looks a tad peculiar, sort of a cross between an artichoke and a dragon’s heart, if dragons were to exist. For the record, there are three types of skin for at Cherimoya, and the one purchased had a skin entitled “Impressa” (smooth or slightly indented).

Nose: It was a clean smell, slightly tropical. The sign at the grocery store to expect a “Tutti-Frutti” aroma, but I had no idea what that meant. I determined the aroma to be a cross between that of a banana and a pineapple. But only slightly. The aroma was very subtle.

Taste: The taste was amazing. I would eat one of these again in a heartbeat. The flesh of the fruit has the consistency of a banana, but the taste is custardy, with hints of banana, grapes and pineapple. It was quite good.

Overall: Good gracious did I enjoy this fruit. It’s probably my favorite out of all of the exotic fruits I’ve recently tried. I do recall it being fairly pricey, but not so much that I had to think twice from buying one. I definitely recommend them.

Technorati Tags: Food and Drink, Fruits, Cherimoya


Tasting Notes: Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit

Prior to starting this site, I was on an acquaitance with fruits or veggies, rather than being close friends and chums. Oh sure, I’d nod to them in the hallways, and even invite them over to eat from time to time. But this was a mere formality — something required to do.

So in the exploration over the past two years or so have opened my eyes to new options beyond that apple/orange/banana reptitiveness that had turned me off to begin with. Take the dragon fruit. Please.

Sure, they look like something from outer space, but its frighteneing facade belies a wonderful taste for which the word “subtlety” was created.

Also called Thang loy, pitaya, cactus fruit, or strawberry pear, these fruits come from cacti of the genus Hylocereus. Originating in Central and South America, they are now also grown in Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, and most importantly — California.

Eyes: An odd fruit, its skin is a leathery hot pink (although some can be yellow). But when you slice it open, it’s meat is white, but nearly translucent. So a fair amount of it’s coloring comes from the plethora of black seeds also inside. This gives the meat a odd gray appearance.

Nose: A very clean and subdued aroma, unlike other fruits. The best I could come up with is sweetened celery or very subdued kiwi.

Taste: It’s texture is very odd. You can spoon the meat of the fruit out like a melon. It’s texture is a bit granular in a veggie kind of way. Its taste? Like a lightly sweetened tapioca. It’s also quite watery.

Overall: I’m pleasantly surprised and quite thrilled that Tara brought this over for breakfast. A wonderufl surprise. I will seek this out to purchase it (which is the best honor one can give a product).


To all L.A. Hunters and Gatherers…minus the Hunters

How cool is this? There is an old Los Angeles city law that makes any fruit overhanging on sidewalks public property. So now, there is a group of people who are encourging folks to plant fruit bearing trees on land bordering the sidewalks, with the intent of feeding any passers-by.

From their site:

This project encourages people to harvest, plant and share public fruit. The project is a response to accelerating urbanization, as well as issues of grassroots community activism and social responsibility. The mission of this web project is to expand our community fruit maps, photos and essays to create an online global public fruit resource.

This is such a wonderful idea! I’m imagining Apple treese here in the many parks that pepper the Seattle landscape.

via boingboing