Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sustainable Eating -Fruits

Living in Hawaii gives me the opportunity to produce or trade or fresh fruit year around. Not all fruits produce throughout the year, but there is always something ready for eating. The main problem that I see it that I have to get use to new types of fruits, ones that not only haven't I eaten before but that I never even heard of before. What I see growing here is not like what I saw back on the Eastcoast. Yup Su, you're not in Kansas anymore! 

Being rather adaptable and willing to try new stuff, I've come to like most of the tropical fruits. Plus I've really become spoiled, wanting them fresh off the trees, like oranges, limes, lemons, pineapples, bananas, avocados. Fresh picked and plant ripened, they are superior compared to anything in the stores. 

In my attempt to develop self reliant habits, I tend to eat very little fruits that are imported. Alas, I'm still a sucker for grapes. But I'm more than willing to chow down mangos (yum, my favorite), lilokoi, papayas, sweet guavas, jaboticaba, sweetsop, cherimoya, dragon fruit, loquat, longon, rambutan, lychee, and mountain apples. And my own home grown bananas and pineapples are super. Although star fruit and thimbleberry have very little taste, they are very pretty in salad. 

Now hubby is a different story. Yes, he likes the bananas and pineapple here, but that's about as far as he goes. He's an apple sort of guy. While apples do grow here, notably the Anna variety, he's rather narrow in his preferences. And Anna doesn't fit the bill. Plus just about every other tropical fruit he's not keen on. Limes occasionally made into popsicles, but that's about it. Needless to say, hubby isn't into this self reliant scheme. 

Preserving fruits would be another way of having seasonal fruits other times of the year. I do indeed do some preserving --- dried fruits, jams, syrups, frozen juice fruits. By avoiding store bought fruits plus not doing a lot of preserving, I'm gradually returning to the idea of seasonal fruits. And guess what, I'm reliving the joy of seasonal fruit. Sounds odd, doesn't it? 

As a kid, fruit was seasonal unless it a fruit that stored well, like apples. But international trade ended that. By cutting my ties to store bought, I'm rediscovering the joy of fruits in season. I'll go months without mangos, so it's intense pleasure to feast on juicy mangos when they come back. Same for rambutans, lychee, citrus, etc. I'll have no oranges for months, then I'll savor fresh oranges again, enjoying their intense sweetness and flavor. With seasonal fruits being just that, seasonal, I find that I savor them more, enjoy them more, really get into their flavor. 

As a by-product of self reliancy and thus the move back in time to the concept of fruits in season, a tiny spark of joy has returned to my life. The anticipation of a particular fruit returning, the initial taste sensation of that first fruit, the sadness (or relief because I'm sick of them) of the last fruit of the season. All these experiences are lost to those of us who buy only from our modern food industry. Personally, I glad I've rediscovered the enjoyment of local fruits. 

No comments:

Post a Comment