Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fruit Cocktail Made Me Who I Am Today

I don't often eat bananas. Although I have no real hate for them, I definitely don't have any urgency to consume the world's most commonly eaten fruit. To me, bananas are a tasteless stem of carbs.  If you give most people a banana, they won't even know how to open it properly. Bananas should be opened on the flat dark dot side, not where the little stem sticks up. I know this. I learned from banana masters of the tropics. In fact, I spent many years trying to impress upon small children that turning the banana the right way around, then opening it, prevents all the pulling, tugging, wiggling and appendage bending  which often results in half a mashed or rotted inedible banana.

When I was a child. I suppose the many varied fruits that we are now fortunate to enjoy weren`t as readily available. I only remember eating bananas, fruit cocktail or peaches. The fruit cocktail was canned in some type of sweet slime as were the peaches. The peaches were either in halves or sliced and labelled as being in heavy syrup. I never could identify any of the fruit in the tins of fruit cocktail. After all, what kind of thing grows in small white cubes? Then there were those mystery marbles. Were they grapes? Were they berries? Did it even matter? Everything in the can tasted the same. The only identifiable shapes in the whole tin were also the most coveted...the cherries. Yum. The cherries actually had a flavour. They looked and tasted red. Unfortunately, they were a challenge to find. If you were very lucky, there might have been three halves in the can. The rest were all fruit cubes and assorted ovoids floating in murky liquid.

For a special treat, mom used to make a flan. It consisted of a delicious baked biscuit shell. She painstakingly lined up the drained fruit cocktail in a pattern in the middle of the flan. First came the cubes, then the marbles, then peach halves or slices from a different can. Finally she`d place a cherry, the most coveted prize in the can in the very centre. She added as many rings of bananas around the outside as necessary to fill up the space, and covered the entire flan with some kind of gelatin. It looked lovely. We sometimes had that when company came and I suppose it was better than no cake.

So what does any of this have to do with me in my adult life? Some things are just difficult to explain to people. This is one of them. I do not enjoy, nor do I eat certain foods. For example, I don`t like fruit salad. Even though it might contain some lovely varieties of berries, pineapple and other types of fruit which I enjoy, the mixture reminds me of fruit cocktail. I don`t want my fruit mushed together. The tastes need to be appreciated and savoured...separately...all except for the bananas. Bananas can be mushed and hidden in other foods. I need the potassium. I don't need to see the source.

I think most of our food preferences are fasshioned from early experiences. I will probably have many more stories to share.  Stay tuned for "Wurst is the Worst". 

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