Fruit Aplenty

So this week in review. We’ve handled vegetable marketing, let’s address the sweet cousin of veg, fruit. It’s time for the Practical Cook polling machine to roar to life. The challenge—go to your kitchen and tally up how many types of fruit you have there. Compare that against how many other types of snacks you have available. Which group is winning?

The Food Pyramid

The Food Pyramid

This is so not the Food Pyramid of the Practical Cook’s youth. Methinks someone has been in the Powerpoint SmartArt playing around. But I digress. If you’d like more charts and graphs, or a fascinating Fruit Gallery, visit MyPyramid.gov.

The point of today’s poll comes from a combination of Marketing 101 and something I heard so long ago that I can’t remember the source. If any loyal reader can find the citation, I will happily add it here. It’s called “mass of product” + choice. If you have more options for fruit, displayed nicely together, than junkier snacks, you’ll eat more fruit.

(Clearly, the banana council both had and has a serious marketing budget.)

I had this “duh” moment a few years ago when I realized I just couldn’t keep that many salty boxed snacks around. I am not a marathoner nor do I play in the NFL. Blogging doesn’t burn that many calories, I’m sorry to say. It was time to change the ratio. Here’s a list of fruit purchased, stored, or consumed during this past week in the Practical Cook’s Kitchen:

  1. apples: Granny Smith (tart lady that she was) and Honeycrisps (my new passion–seek these out and tell me what you think)
  2. pears: Bosc, Red, Anjou
  3. grapefruit
  4. blood oranges
  5. clementines
  6. bananas: If they start to go brown, just toss them in the freezer, skin on, and break them out when you want to make a smoothie, banana bread, banana walnut pancakes, etc.
  7. blackberries: Out of season indulgence
  8. dates: If you’ve never tried the non-sugared buy it in bulk type dates, give them a whirl. They’re like candy.
  9. raisins
  10. dried cranberries
  11. frozen blueberries
  12. avocado
  13. cherry tomatoes: A technicality, also an out of season indulgence
  14. mango
  15. peaches: fruit-cup style

My good friend, the Complicated Vegetarian, introduced me to the idea of putting a plate of sliced fruit on the table not just at breakfast, but lunch and dinner, too. It works.

We also hold tastings when we have more than one varietal of fruit—we recently determined that Red Pears were the sweetest ones of the bunch. Do green grapes taste different than red ones? This changes the conversation from “eat more fruit because it’s good for you” to “what tastes better to me?”

That’s enough kitchen philosophy for today. Feel free to share your fruit lists—the Practical Cook is always on the hunt for new ideas. Coming up next, Weekly Menus! Spring is just around the corner, the groundhog has promised, which means lots of new veggies and cooking challenges.

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