Thursday, June 16, 2011

The 3 best fruits and veggies

In urban France, fruits and vegetables from all over the world are available year-round. I find it rather interesting that when it comes to produce anything can be bought anytime. Yet non-consumables, like patio furniture, water bottles, and outdoor toys can literally only be found in the season prior to and into their normal time of use. Want to buy some luggage? You’d better be shopping within a month or two of les vacances! Or you find a super-specialized luggage shop. A water bottle in the winter? Don’t even think about it.

We try to eat somewhat seasonally and use local farmers markets and watch prices for local products that help us to do so. Living that cycle of the earth simply feels right, and adds a nice annual variety to our palettes.

Moving on from the seasonal aside... yesterday I was in a supermarket and gazed over tables and baskets of fresh produce. Bananas from the Ivory Coast, pineapples from Costa Rica, avocados from Kenya, and even the rare sweet potatoes from the USA. Then I started thinking about the ones I really like. My mind spanned from picking up a nectarine and biting into it (I believe the greatest fruit for monkeys; colorful, juicy, and simply bite and enjoy!), to chopping celery for salads, seasonings, and garnitures. I thought back to one of the greatest explosion of tastes I ever had the pleasure to enjoy, a fresh pineapple in Tanzania during pineapple season (when we paid about 50 cents per). I then tried to list my favorite fruits and vegetables, based on what’s important to me (flavor, versatility, etc...). Here’s what I came up with:

1 - Onions
2 - Avocados
3 - Potatoes (are they vegetables? if not, I’ll go broccoli)

I may be one of very few people to list onions at number 1, but without them my life would be lacking. In my opinion, any meal tastes better with the addition of onions. Pizza is not pizza without onions. Same for burgers, sandwiches, salads. And a bloomin’ onion?!? Now I’m coveting that which my neighbors across the pond can enjoy, and I must move on.

1 - Limes
2 - Strawberries
3 - Grapefruit

This one was tougher. And I’m not really sure those are my top 3. I feel good about lime in the 1 spot. Put ‘lime’ in front of anything on a menu and I’ll probably order it. Add lime to a smoothie and that’s the one I’ll choose. Why did Coca-cola stop making coke with lime and limit it to diet coke only? No matter, I’d rather drop an actual lime in the coke anyhow. In my cheap college and early married days, JJ and I would go to Qdoba and gather up a bunch of limes from the drink station along with sugar and our water to make limeades. Mmmmm... And yeah, I’ll eat a lime straight. I like ‘em that much. Other fruit getting honorable mentions from me are passion fruit, oranges, and maybe even grapes. Living in a country that doesn’t produce nor consume seedless grapes has made their allure diminish a bit. And oranges dropped off for me when living in East Africa, where the oranges were only mediocre but we were surrounded by the best, juiciest pineapples, passion fruit, and mangoes on the planet. But they’re coming back, especially when I have memories of Florida oranges, and juice! Still, few things beat a grapefruit in the morning, strawberry milkshakes, and of course, strawberry limeades!

Where have I gone wrong?

What are your 3 favorite fruits and/or veggies?

I love these kind of games!!


Anonymous said...

ooh ooh me too! I love lists... especially food. And yay! Michael, I feel the same way about onions (ask Joe...she'll tell you) I would be heartbroken if I couldn't add them to almost everything dish I make! In fact, I use them so much for flavoring dishes, I'm not even including them on my veggie list, I'm considering them a herb! Here's my lists
Asparagus (fresh, in season,nice)
Cabbage (braised...with onion!)
Green beans (boring you say? not roasted in oven with kosher salt, olive oil and a pinch of sugar to enhance browing...try it, make you think twice about calling them boring!)

Starchy veggies:
Green peas

Fruits: What i really love is a fruit salad with as many different types of fruit as you can get...but these are the ones I enjoy eating out of hand
bananas (I know..boring, but I truly love them)


Michael & Joe Joe said...

Jenni- you just turned your top 3 vegetables into a top 7. Totally ignored the rules of the game :). I appreciate your attempt to play and with such gusto! But somebody needs to learn to follow the rules! And cabbage is gross, just sayin'.

Good job on the fruits though! Nothing wrong with bananas at #1. Have you ever eaten the little extra-sweet ones? If not, they might change your life someday.