I have yet another confession to make. This one my family will appreciate. The confession is this: I treat fruits and vegetables almost like they are people. I connect with them when I prepare or cook them, I take pictures of them, I document how I prepare them, I swoon over new recipes for them and I have shed tears over them! Here is one example, which is probably the one that stands out most with me (and my family already knows where I am going here). The story goes like this:
The fruit: Asian pear
The date: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 2000
The location: Hong Kong and then Shenzhen, China
I found the most perfect Asian pear in Hong Kong and I was going to eat it on the train Christmas Day as we traveled from Hong Kong into China. It was the most special day of the year and this was one food that was going to make it extra special for breakfast. The night before Christmas we are in the hotel packing and I am washing the pear and making sure it is ready to eat on the train. I pack it gently in the carry-on so it avoids damage. The next morning going through security, they searched our bags. The guard looks at the pear, grabs it and tosses it like he is making a long-distance basketball shot into the giant garbage can. I lost it! I mean I lost my emotional control. I cried; I wanted it back! I had my brother try to communicate in Cantonese that I wasn’t going to grow a tree or sell it; I was going to eat it in an hour! I never cried so hard over a piece of fruit. Silly, you say? Well, I would love it if everyone enjoyed fruits and vegetables the way I (and lots of RDs!) do. I continue to tell folks that fruits & vegetables ARE like people in that people all are unique in who they are and produce is the same way. Fruits & vegetables all have unique nutritional profiles that our bodies crave and need on a daily basis.
So why am I bringing this fruit stuff up? Because we are now in the best fruit season of the year. Bring on the mangoes, lychees, berries, guavas, pineapples, melons, etc, etc. Fruits taste best when they are picked and then eaten soon after, right? I was inspired to write this blog because of my passion for lychees. Our lychee tree is ready this week and it is the only time of year we enjoy them fresh. We freeze some of them right in the shell to enjoy later in the year. So here is my request.
If you see lychees in the store or a fruit stand, pick some up and try them. The smell and flavor is amazing. Please enjoy the bounty our earth provides this time of year. Eating fruits and vegetables every day will keep your face and body smiling from the inside out!