Fruitsposé

By Lloyd Graff

I just bought the first fabulous cherries and peaches of the 2019 farmers’ market season.

The following blog is a past favorite of mine. I give you Fruitsposé!

Every day another prominent guy is forced to admit how his desire got the best of him. Today I must reveal my secret passion. I have had a lifelong affair with fruit.

I was reminded of this a couple days ago when I was in the produce department of Bizio’s, my local fruit seller of choice. He had THE BLUEBERRIES. I am very fussy about all my berries, and I usually shun blueberries in December in Chicago because they shlep them in from Argentina or Mexico and by the time I buy them they are flat and tasteless. But occasionally in December and January Driscoll Blueberries arrive and they are plump and taste like the best of Southwest Michigan berries in July. Really, they are even better, because they come so unexpectedly, and from Mexico no less.

When I find them I’m like a bear with a honeycomb. I want them all. So I buy almost every little carton on the shelf, price be damned, because these are my treasures of winter.

I love almost every berry at its peak. Frankly, I love almost every fruit in season.

This past summer I went absolutely bonkers over watermelon — Black Diamond seedless, to be specific. For almost eight weeks I was virtually delirious for those 15 pound bundles of dark pink joy. I sliced the melons into big sensuous chunks and pigged out for breakfast, lunch, and after dinner. Probably gained five pounds over two months on my Black Diamonds, but worth it.

Then there is my apple period. August, September, October, I infest the local farmers markets checking out the reddish treasure. Honeycrisps are my faves, but I’ll accept anything except the most vile apple on the planet, “Delicious.” Has there ever been a more inappropriate adjective for a fruit? If a farmers market seller even grows Red Delicious I will avoid them like Measles. Why even have a tree if it gives fruit as utterly cardboardy as that sickly variety that should only be exported to China for Pandas.

If there is an antidote for awful apples it is perfect pears. Bartlett’s are rather prosaic for me, but they are succulent and tasty, sliced any way you want. Wonderful with a soft cheese. Anjou are a little Franco, but just as marvelous, and a Bosc if peeled will duel the best of them. But for me the princess of pears is the Comice. The skin is a little rough like the Bosc, but if you hit the ripeness on the button, that pear has no peer. They sell for a premium, but the flavor of a Comice puts me in blissful state. Can you ask for more from any fruit?

I am a nut for fruit from trees. Oranges are back in season now and I am going bananas for Mandarins with the stems left on them and the spectacular Cara Cara orange, which is a cross between a grapefruit and a blood orange. Sweet and a little sour at the same time with a marvelous pink color.

I cannot leave out the often overlooked grapefruit. Texas Ruby Reds are back in season and I am an avid buyer. They take a little time to section, but nothing good comes without effort.

I’ll finish my fruity ode with my love of strawberries. I am suffering at the moment because I haven’t had any decent strawberries in months. Unlike the blessed blueberries that come out of nowhere for a week or two in December, winter strawberries are invariably crappy.

Our family is taking our annual pilgrimage to San Diego over President’s weekend this year. February is right at the beginning of strawberry season in southern California. I pray that the berries won’t be late because we devour a flat each day. We buy them at a local farm stand, and they are “to die for.”

My regrets to peaches which I adore over their oh so short season, but I had to leave out something.

And Pomegranates. Sorry, you are just too seedy.

Tell me about your fruit fetish. I am still exploring.

Questions:

What are your favorite fruits? Why?

What fruits do you hate?

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15 thoughts on “Fruitsposé

  1. AvatarArt Santana

    Apricots taste like crap everywhere, dry and tasteless that is. but if you ever have a chance to eat one in an Oregon summer, my goodness, nothing better. Here in Utah, there is a small town in the middle of nowhere that is famous for their watermelons, for whatever reason, they are pinkish in color but have the sweetest taste ever, so for a few weeks every summer, I have to take the 3 hour drive
    to satisfy my cravings.

     
  2. AvatarKim

    Good apricots seem to be very hard to find, and I live in southern California where we do get good local fruit. I don’t know why they only seem to be found in dried, in jam or in yogurt, but so rarely fresh. Perhaps they don’t travel well or just aren’t trendy these days. I should probably just plant my own tree. When I lived in Europe I seemed to find good fresh apricots more often, but then again apricots were also commonly used to brew a fruit brandy so perhaps that’s why they were more prevalent.

     
  3. AvatarTom

    Black raspberries are by far my favorite fruit. As high quality ones are difficult to purchase, at least in Southwestern PA, I maintain two patches which produce about 50 to 70 pints each per season. Also, I grow an sufficient amount of blueberries to provide a fresh supply during an extended summer season plus enough to freeze to last through the winter.
    Although I do not have my own strawberries, the locally grown ones are excellent. Unfortunately, it’s a short season for strawberries.

     
  4. AvatarTed Roberts

    Lloyd at least your desire will not ruin your marriage or reputation. Fondling some melons or apples at the store is not a crime or immoral.

    I agree with you on apples. Honeycrisps were developed here in Chanhassen by the U of M.

    Ted

     
  5. Avatarsteve

    Northwest Washington has strawberries, raspberries and blueberries that go in season starting in May and go through October at farmer’s markets. Heavenly time for fruit here.

     
  6. Avatarallen

    Blackberries.

    There are a couple of u-pick places within a reasonable drive and after gorging on the berries while I’m picking there are a number of transcendent possibilities. Cobbler, pie, bars, jam, jelly, liqueur, bark, freezer jam…

    Of course there’s always a price to be paid so for the next day or so I have to remain within one cancover of the bathroom.

    What’s a “cancover” you injudiciously ask? It’s the distance I can cover before disaster.

     
  7. AvatarVictor

    I am a fruit lover, too.

    Avocados (technically a fruit) are delicious, very nutritious, and very low on sugar which is sometimes desirable. However, they must be eaten exactly when ripe which is a window of about 2 days – very unforgiving before or after ripeness, so must be very careful when buying and tricky to time the ripeness for an upcoming event. Costco tends to be pretty good much of the year.

    Grapes are usually tasty and are often good for most of the year. Easy to eat at your desk.

     
  8. AvatarRobert Ducanis

    I like apples, oranges, grapes, and cherries in that order. I like peaches, but for the past few years, peaches bought in the grocery store are hard as baseballs, never seem to ripen and rot from the inside out. Best peaches I have ever had were bought at a roadside stand in South Carolina. Of course, a chilled watermelon slice is heaven when working in the yard in hot & humid Florida.

    Although you can buy most fruits all year round due to imports, the best time to buy is when they are in season in your local area. The quality of the fruit will be the best and the prices will be the cheapest. I’ve gone to some ‘local’ farmer’s markets and I will see the discarded packing boxes stating ‘product of Chile, Peru, Mexico’, etc. etc.

     
  9. AvatarJerrold Levine

    Having shared so many meals and fruit snacks with you, I loved your latest Swarf column. But, one important bit of information–Blueberries from Argentina are always tart. It may be due to the soil, or the sour politics of the Peronistas, I am not sure. However, Chilean blueberries are always great, they are sweet and plump. I like to think it’s because the free market competition fostered by the “Chicago Boys” there have led to a superior product than their neighbors to the east.

     
  10. Avatarr in nyc

    I have to first agree with first post from Bill!

    Either you love bacon, or you are just wrong!!!
    Everything is better with bacon.
    We frequent an Ice Cream Shop that has maple bacon ice cream – wow
    😀
    You know if you took away my bacon, caffeine and sarcasm, you might as well just kill me…

    Talking about fruits, I think that there are too many, including here at work and at the bar at night.

    Not a big fruit guy, usually gives me agita, but if I take enough pills and tums I love a good pineapple. Sometimes I’ll cover apple slices with cinnamon.
    Watermelons? you can keep them!
    The only thing Watermelons are good for is Gallagher’s – Sledge-O-Matic!!

    click here to see the Sledge-O-Matic!

     
  11. Lloyd GraffLloyd Graff

    Local strawberries have been late this year. No blueberries yet. First cherries were superb. Hopefully,apples at Graff Pinkert will be good and -lentiful, because we sprayed.
    Happy Fourth. Seems particularly important this year. Early -eaches from sSouthern Illinois have been amazing. Raspberries quite good for this early. Fruits—I love you

     

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