August 10, 2007 at 8:00 am
Time keeps ticking, I keep licking the produce section, and man are my taste buds sore. It’s time once again for me to report on the new fruits and vegetables I have tried to eat with varying levels of success.
When I think of mangoes, I think of the Gauguin painting Woman with mango. Typing that title makes it sound like another recipe from the cannibal’s cookbook. I opted to eat the mango raw. However, if I had taken a closer look at Gauguin’s painting I would have realized I should have waited until it turned red to do so. Instead, I got out my big knife and tried hacking into a green mango. I got about an inch into it and felt like I’d gotten my workout for the day. I checked the wikipedia article on mangoes and realized my mistake, but by that time it was too late. If I left my mutilated mango to ripen on the counter it would just have gotten moldy. I finished cutting out a wedge anyway, bit into it and it was about as bad as you’d think unripened fruit would be. I threw it out for the trash flies to feast on and bought another mango a couple weeks later.
This time I waited for it to turn red and soft and bit right into it. That was mistake number two. If I had finished reading that wikipedia article I would have discovered that you’re not supposed to eat the skin. It’s like biting right into an orange or chewing on watermelon rind. In fact, there is a fancy schmancy way you are supposed to cut a mango to get out all the good, fleshy orange stuff. After all those mishaps, I finally ate the damn mango already. It was tart, somewhat lemony or limey, but sweeter. I’d certainly eat one again, now that I now how to do it properly.
I checked Eat Fresh, Stay Healthy, a book about fruits and veggies that some kind reader suggested (thank you kind reader!), which also has the fugliest cover of any book I have ever seen ever in all my life, and it said mangoes are the “number-one consumed fruit in the world.” They just don’t show up in the US that much due to various boring importation reasons I won’t get into. I had no idea they were so popular, especially considering how hard it was for me to eat one. Go figure.
I have had kiwi fruit before, but I had never bought one in my adult life because it was brown and fuzzy. Kiwi skin reminds me of shag carpeting and I’ve never had a desire to chomp on the carpet. Avoiding kiwi fruits was stupid though because, yum, they are delicious! After my experience with the mango I looked up information on the kiwi to be sure it was okay to just bite into it like an apple. Usually kiwi is served sliced up, but that would mean I’d have to clean my knife afterwards and I am always looking for ways to cut down on dirty dishes. Kiwi is now one of my favorite fruits and I’m definitely going to put it into high rotation in my lunch bag, weird fuzzy skin be damned.
When I saw the purple cauliflower and orange cauliflower heads in the produce section, I thought they had set it in water with purple food coloring. In grade school we did the same thing with white carnations to color their petals with streaks of purple. I didn’t know why anyone would turn cauliflower purple or orange, but the oddness appealed to me and I needed a new vegetable to try, so I grabbed the purple head because I thought purple was a slightly weirder color than orange.
When I researched my purchase, I discovered that the coloring was natural. “The purple color is caused by the presence of the antioxidant group anthocyanin, which can also be found in red cabbage and red wine.” I roasted this in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper like I usually cook cauliflower and it tasted just like normal cauliflower. Maybe true taste connoisseurs would catch slight variances in flavor, but if you’d blindfolded me I doubt I would have been able to tell what color the cauliflower was. While the purple coloring was fun, I think I’ll stick to the white stuff for now. If I stick it in a pool of food coloring I bet I can turn it any color I want to.
Earlier: Not a pretty girl?
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