22 March 2010

Hitchen on fruit fads

As detailed in a recent post, I have taken a rather belated liking to fruit. One of the things I have discovered is that eating fruit is fraught with danger due to chemicals produced naturally by various fruit, (did you know for example, that rambutans (photo) elevate your body temperature and also cause coughing and even loss of voice!).

Personally, considering the Nanny-States that so many allegedly civilized countries have become, I am rather surprised that no do-gooders have formed an organization to ban the sale of fruit to under 18s, insisting all fruit be removed from school canteens and no greengrocer be allowed within 100 meters of any school or park. Perhaps fruit should come with a panic button as well just to be on the safe side. Such a group could circulate posters and viral advertising campaigns carrying slogans such as, 'Do you know what fruit you child is eating?"

Have you noticed how total strangers such as teachers, educators and health care gurus, automatically assume they have been given some God given power to know what your children should be doing, better than you do? It's a bit like growing up - growing up stinks because it's always someone else's of idea of what growing should involve, and not the poor little sod trying to find things out at his or her own speed.

What sort of an idiot would ask questions such as, "Why don't you grow up?" and what sort of an answer do they really expect? "OK Sir, I'll grow up next Tuesday if that's ok, just after I have finished a pile of homework on things I am never going to use, need or know." Satisfied that the errant pupil is going to "grow up," Sir later goes down the pub to tell bawdy jokes with his mates, and throw pointy things at a cork board before throwing up in the loo.

But I digress. Back to fruit. Beside the dangers, there is another thing I have discovered about fruit - it's all a bit of a con job really.

Never mind the food fasionistas raving on about exotic and expensive fruit being "delicious" and succulent, more often than not they are totally bland or taste incredibly similar to run of the mill fruit at a fraction of the price.

Avocado is one such fruit. You would think at nearly four dollars each and avocado-etiquette guides that guide you step by step through a fruit-eaters equivalent of an Aztec sacrificial ritual, that you would bite into something that tastes like it was picked from the Garden of Eden - not something that tastes like my socks on a hot day.

Longans and lychees are other fruits where the perception of yumminess far exceeds the reality. Both look and taste very similar to an ordinary grape. Rambutans look spectacular, but you need to read the instructions before eating and when you do, again you discover it looks and tastes like a grape!

Then we come to dragon fruit. A beautiful looking fruit and when cut in two, delightful to look at - but there is little discernible taste. At around $2:50 each, I think I am entitled to experience a taste outside the norm.

As for kiwangos, you can stick that for a game of tin soldiers. Great for decorative purposes but persuading someone to eat them should be outlawed along with other practices such as water-boarding.

I bet you are thinking, "ok - what do you like?"

Simple - simple fruits. Is there anything tastier, juicier and more refreshing than a beautiful navel orange or tangerine - especially straight from the fridge? It is the sort of eating experience I would have expected from more expensive, exotic fruits - but so far have never discovered - apart from Pearl mangoes.

Unlike women, when it comes to fruit, I think I will stick to the common or garden variety!

Wherever you may be - be safe

Copyright Mike Hitchen Online, Lane Cove, NSW, Australia. All rights reserved