Grapes are inordinately dear these days. Why is that? Whatever the reason, it’s unfortunate for me because grapes are among the only fruits I can say I genuinely like and even hanker after.
Fruits I don’t much care for, like apples and pears, are practically free by comparison with grapes. I like oranges and mandarins well enough, but sometimes I find them too acidy, not to mention messy. Bananas are no fuss and muss and will do in a pinch, but what I am really craving is grapes, especially red ones. But, I won’t pay what they’re asking for them.
It’s too bad. I like a good grape. And by good I mean the ones that are brimming in sweet flavor and give off a snap when bitten into.
I never used to eat fruit much at all. I’ve always liked the look of fruit. It’s pretty, and I have thought it should taste as pretty and enticing as it looks. But, I always found it to be not enough like ‘real’ food to actually entice me. I liked fruit in things, like orange juice or pies in the olden days, but not much as a stand-alone foodstuff. A burger or hotdog was a stand-alone for me. But, I reached a point in my life (as so many of us do) in which I seriously pondered (that overused term) ‘lifestyle’ and came to believe my paucity of fruit consumption was not necessarily a healthful aspect of my questionable diet. So, I changed and I began to consume fruit at least one meal a day. I also changed a number of other things. Not to brag but I became a veritable paragon of healthful eating.
Today I eat my vegetables, though confess I will never elevate nasty stuff like broccoli or cauliflower to the heady realms of vine-ripened tomatoes, potatoes (baked, mashed, French-fried, pan-fried, roasted, scalloped or croquette-ized) or fresh corn. I do eat them, however. I even consume salads (despite a persistent belief that the only salad of genuine appeal has ‘potato’ as an adjective. Lettuce, alas, is one of those things, like fruit, that should taste as pretty as it looks. It never does. At the end of the day it’s still boring old lettuce.
But at issue here primarily is fruit and the expensiveness of grapes. To me there is only one other fruit that entices me as much as Gwyneth Paltrow’s smile and that is sweet and crunchy fresh watermelon on a hot summer day. But what of those other fruits? Here’s my view:
– Apples: overrated. Most supermarket pommes are lacking in flavor and are excessively starchy. None of them taste like the ones on my grandmother’s tree. I doubt if I eat even one a year. Nice in pies and crisps.
– Bananas: as I said, they are no fuss and to eat one is to actually feel like genuine food has been consumed. Banana bread is a major treat always.
– Oranges: look and smell wonderful. Messy to eat, though, and they demand too much work what with all that peeling.
– Pears: I honestly don’t like their grittiness. I actually prefer canned pears.
– Peaches: A fresh and messy peach in season is always a delight but they are around for such a brief window that they are hardly a mainstay in life. Again, most supermarket versions are inadequate and often woody. Peach pie and cobbler are, however, to die for.
– Watermelon: my childhood favorite thing that has never lost its appeal.
– Mangoes: before I had traveled much I would fantasize about what it would be like to pick a mango off a tree because they looked so good. Then I did. It was a disappointment. There is an unpleasant fragrance of kerosene in some strains. A point of trivia, however, the mango is the most widely consumed fruit in the world. More are utilized in various foodstuffs even than bananas.
– Cherries: my Granny said: “Don’t eat too many or you’ll get diarrhea,” as we sat munching in her cherry tree. I always wondered which one was the ‘fatal’ cherry. They’re OK in season, but they tasted better when I was a kid sitting in that tree.
– Dates and figs: I know they’re different fruits, but to me they are the same and are loathsome both. Fresh figs are especially unpleasant in a lichee nut kind of way.
There are more but right now I am just biding my time until grapes come down in price.