Hey! Ever wanted to go out and try as many different types of fruit as humanly possible? Me too! Living in the Pacific Northwest I am afforded the unique opportunity to try all sorts of fruit that is available up here, that is not commonly available in other areas. Blame the weather, the geographical location or whatever; Portland has a lot of fruit. This got me thinking, we as consumers, only have access to a few varietals at the grocery store. These varietals are ones that do not rot quickly, can take some abuse from travel and taste moderately good to the majority of the population. What other flavors are out there? When is an apple not an apple, but tastes more like a watermelon? This set me on the path of trying fifty different fruits one year. Fifty is not much. There are about a gazillion varieties of apples alone, but fifty is hard to find when you are trying to get stuff at the grocery store. I scoured every grocery store, fruit stand and farm I could find within fifty miles of Portland. I wrote down everything, I made my friends sample and be guinea pigs with me. It became a slight obsession for 2012.
I learned some interesting things. Firstly, it is really a shame that we have only a few varieties at major grocery stores. It teaches kids that all apples are Red Delicious, oranges are Sunkist, and watermelon is the red kind with the seeds that you spit out. Did you know that Apples come in every color imaginable and span the taste spectrum? I tried ones that tasted like celery to ones that looked like a watermelon but taste like an orange. My favorite orange fruit is bright pink and lacks the sharp acidic bite that Sunkist oranges have. Fingerling limes are way cool; it looks like caviar but is actually lime flavor explosions that pop in your mouth.
Horned melon is something from another planet. It tastes like if beer and grass had a baby. I took this one to a friends house and made them suffer along with me for the sake of SCIENCE! Durian smells like week-old socks but tastes odd and interesting. Plumcots are amazing little bits of sunshine in a purple shell and kumquats are not good no matter how you eat them, roll them or beg them to be sweet.
It was a year of fruity adventure. Now that I have my garden going, I am putting in some strange fruits to try this year. Let’s see what I can do with white strawberries.