I tend to have three types of encounters with fruit. One is the almost soundtrack-worthy experience of eating a ripe plum or peach straight from the tree as ambrosial juices dribble down my chin. Another is facing down bowls of shiny apples at a Starbucks thinking “I should eat this,” yet knowing that it'll be like biting into Styrofoam. The third, when I'm at my local organic market, is akin to browsing the bins at a vintage music shop, feeling the pressure rise as I try to remember what, exactly, I like. Some people are naturals in those situations, I'm not.
Needless to say, fruit and I have a complicated relationship and, as a result, I don't tend to reach for it when my stomach rumbles. But last week, help literally arrived on my doorstep in the form of a box from The FruitGuys. The FruitGuys source local (mostly), organic (when specified) fruit for weekly delivery to offices around the country. For me in California, that translated into a box brimming with oranges large and small, several shades of apples and pears, and even an avocado. And I've got to tell you, I've eaten a lot of fruit this past week. Happily.
I'm finding a lot of my new-found enjoyment has to do with seasonality and curiosity. When a fruit is grown locally, it's picked at the peak of its flavor; its purpose in life is more about titillating your tastebuds than surviving a cross-continent trek and you can tell as soon as you bite into it. I also find that when I approach fruit from a place of curiosity, it's not such a big deal if I don't remember the details the next time around. Fruit is sort of like wine in that way; part of the pleasure comes from the trying and retrying itself.
But the best thing is . . . now I actually look forward to raiding the fruit drawer.
So following that “apple a day” advice is easy — when it's a good apple.
This week, join me in eating at least one piece of fruit a day–preferably seasonal–whether in a salad, from the fruit drawer, or even plucked straight from the tree. And yes, the strawberries in the crostata count.