By Miguel Sanchez
Read Time: 2min 22 sec
Hello Readers. I am back from my fondue cooking class and ready to talk about what is EXCEPTIONAL in the world of fruit.
If I recall rightly, my last blog accused everyone of being Fruit Morons and that we should be all aspiring to take Hugh Jackman home when it comes to fruit preference. So the question is, how do we select the exceptional fruit from the average and the crap
There are many factors influencing fruit flavour — things such as weather, growing region and variety of fruit. However, the catalyst for great flavour is the person who produces it. Two growers can grow the same fruit in paddocks beside each other, but they will not look or taste the same. The grower is the difference.
There is always 1 or 2 growers at any time that grows the fruit better than anyone else. I see it all the time in stone fruit. There is a world of difference between a good stonefruit grower and an average one. A good apricot is heaven on earth. A bad apricot will have you retching on the ground, hoping for death.
So what is the 1st step to picking fruit? The grower. If you find a brand of fruit you enjoy, stick with that brand, as they generally stay true to form.
The 2nd thing is the variety of fruit, which also involves the grower. If we take peaches for example — There are hundreds of varieties of peaches available, and breeding programs continue to produce more varieties. The issue is, many peaches are bred to be “Grower Friendly”. Meaning they are highly productive, look good, have an excellent shelf life and eat like cyanide.
Being a fruit salesman, I am forced to sell such things. Buyers don’t want to hear “I’ve eaten sweeter turds” when being offered peaches. They prefer to hear “Fresh in today”, “Great Value” and “Like a Cousins kiss”. However, there is part of me that dies, when I see that pallet of poisonous peaches roll out to the shops. I wonder how many people will die a nauseating death from eating those peaches.
The fact is that many of the premium varieties of fruit are hard to grow. They require experienced growers that have that the ability to get the best out of their orchards. While the quality of fruit may vary a bit between years, you will find that they are consistently better year on year.
So how do you find the right variety?
Ask the Dude selling the fruit. This is fraught with danger because if you ask the wrong person, you will get that bewildered look, that is so prevalent in customer service these days. Like you just asked for their kidney. A good fruit dude will know their varieties of fruit, grower and what is the best. If they don’t, you are in the wrong place.
So my last point is indeed the most amazing of all facts, that hardly anyone realises. If you are going to buy fruit, take a bite of it. Why would you buy any food product without knowing it will be at a minimum edible?
Equally important, eat it at the right stage of ripeness. Many a time a buyer has picked up and consumed the greenest, most immature apricot available, then complained that it is sour. Three seconds after that I head-butted them and dropped them to the ground. Because if you are stupid enough to eat immature fruit, the headbutt that I give you, is your fault.