Thursday, July 24, 2014
Trying New Fruits: Jujube
Today I had the opportunity to try a new fruit: jujube. Someone at the office has a jujube tree in her garden and brought a bag of the fruit to share. I've heard of the name, but I've never eaten them before. They looked like miniature apples and tasted a bit like a not too sweet, somewhat crispy apple.
It reminded me of a challenge a friend set for herself, a few years ago, to try different fruits and vegetables that were new to her.
How often do we reach for the same familiar fruit at the grocery store? Week after week, we select apples and bananas and oranges. Or grapes and pears and peaches. Even when there are different varieties of a familiar fruit, such as pears, we tend to select the ones we are most familiar with, such as Bartlett or Bosc and pass over the ones we are not that familiar with, such as the cream colored Yali pears.
Sometimes, it is because those other, less common varieties cost more than the more common fruit, and shopping with a budget in mind means we buy what's cheaper. When regular bananas cost $.69/lb., I find myself reluctant to buy apple bananas at more than double the price. And when peaches or apples can be purchased at $.99/lb., I am reluctant to buy cherimoya and dragon fruit at $4.99/lb.
But sometimes, even when the price is the same, I tend to purchase the more familiar fruit: cantaloupe and honeydew melons instead of Galia or Sharlyn melons.
I think we tend to reach for the more familiar fruit because we are comfortable with it. It is safe - we've eaten it before and we liked it and we are used to it. There is no risk involved. Whereas, with something new, there is a chance that we might not like it. Sometimes, it is simply because we don't know how to tell if it is ripe, or how to eat it, etc. But it is not too difficult to find out; a quick search on-line will tell us all what we need to know.
I would like to challenge myself to venture out of my comfort zone and try a new fruit every so often. Maybe I'll visit the weekly farmers market, near my office, tomorrow and see what they have to offer that would be new and different. A farmers market is a good place to try new fruits because you can ask the sellers how to eat the fruit and often, they will offer free samples to taste.
Anyone else willing to try new fruits?