Posts Tagged ‘Fruit’

Fun Fact Friday, Number Forty-Five!

October 13, 2017

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “botany.”  When thinking about the following fruit: blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, which are true berries?

Only the blueberries are the true berries.  All of the others are considered aggregate drupes.  Drupes are fleshy fruits containing a single stone or pit; they are aggregate because each individual fruit is atually a cluster of miniature drupes.

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.


Fun Fact Friday, Number Thirty-Two!

July 14, 2017

They say “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” . . . but were you aware that . . .

  • smelling apples (and/or bananas) can help you lose weight? (Real Fact #109)
  • each year the average American eats about fifteen pounds of apples? (Real Fact #273)
  • apples are a member of the rose family? (Real Fact #422)
  • fresh apples float because about 25% of their volume is air?  (Real Fact #720)
  • in ancient Greece, throwing an apple to a woman was considered a marriage proposal? (Real Fact #816)


Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Fifty-Five!

September 19, 2015

Last month when I was on vacation, I was going through some of my mom’s old recipe boxes and found a wonderful article (from the May 1992 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine) on how a variety of fruits “measure” up.

1 pound  equals . . .

  • 4 small apples, 3 medium apples, 2 large apples
  • 3 cups (diced)
  • 2-3/4 cups (sliced)
  • 1-1/2 cup (grated)

1 pound equals . . .

  • 3 medium bananas
  • 2 cups (sliced)
  • 1-1/2 cups (diced)
  • 1/3 cup (mashed)

1 medium orange equals . . .

  • 10-11 sections
  • 1/2 cup (bite-sized pieces)
  • 4 teaspoons grated peel
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup of juice

1 medium lemon equals . . .

  • 3 teaspoons grated peel
  • 3 Tablespoons of juice

1 medium grapefruit  equals . . .

  • 2/3 cup of juice
  • 1 cup (bite-sized pieces)
  • 10-12 sections
  • 4 teaspoons grated peel

1 pound of tomatoes equals . . .

  • 3-4 medium tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 cups of pulp

1 pound of peaches equals . . .

  • 2 large peaches, 3 medium peaches
  • 2 cups (sliced)
  • 1-2/3 cups (diced)
  • 1-1/2 cups (pureed)

1 pint of strawberries equals . . .

  • 12 very large berries
  • Up to 36 smaller berries
  • 3-1/4 cups (whole berries)
  • 2-1/4 cups (sliced)
  • 1-2/3 cups (pureed)

1 medium tangerine equals . . .

  • 8-12 sections
  • 2-3 teaspoons grated peel
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of juice

1 pound of pears equals . . .

  • 2 large pears, 3 medium pears
  • 2-1/2 cups (sliced)
  • 2-1/3 cups (diced)
  • 1-3/4 cups (pureed)

1 pound of nectarines equals . . .

  • 3 medium nectarines
  • 2 cups (sliced)
  • 1-3/4 cups (diced)
  • 1-1/2 cups (pureed)

1 lime equals . . .

  • 2 Tablespoons of juice
  • 2 teaspoons of grated peel

1 pound of plums equals . . .

  • 6 medium plums
  • 2-1/2 cups (sliced)
  • 2 cups (diced)
  • 1-1/4 cups (pureed)

Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Thirty-One!

March 7, 2015

Durio_Zibethinus_Van_NootenKnown as the “King of Fruits,” and considered a delicacy in Southeast Asia, did you know that the green durian is forbidden in enclosed public places (hotels and public transportation) due to its pungent odor (often described as rotten onions, turpentine, smelly socks, or raw sewage).   The fruit can grow as large as 12 inches long and 6 inches in diameter, and typically weighs two to seven pounds. Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the color of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale yellow to red, depending on the species.  As to the availability of this fruit in the United States, you are most likely to find them in Asian markets.  The U.S. imports over 2,000 tons of durian (mostly frozen) per year.  This fruit is “in season” from June through August and will generally cost you around $8 – $15 for an average-sized fruit (3.3 pounds).

Although the durian is not native to Thailand, the country is currently one of the major exporters of durians and Chantaburi (Thailand) holds the World Durian Festival in early May.


Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Twenty-Six!

January 31, 2015

IMG_0781Apples have long been the subject of stories, myths, and legends and symbolize wisdom, fertility, knowledge, and sensuality.  In Greek mythology, Gaia gave Zeus and Hera apples as a wedding gift; one of Heracles twelve labors involved an apple (he was required to travel to the Garden of the Hesperides and pick the golden apples off the Tree of Life); apples are considered to be the forbidden fruit that led to the “fall of man” in the Garden of Eden; when Paris of Troy awarded the prize apple to Aphrodite, it incited the Trojan War; and many more.

Did you know . . .

  • that there are more than 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States, but only the crabapple is native to North America?
  • that apples contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol and are a good source of fiber?
  • that it takes apple trees four to five years to produce their first fruit?
  • that apples ripen six to 10 times faster at room temperature than if they are refrigerated?
  • that apple varieties range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit?
  • that the largest apple ever picked weighed 3 pounds?
  • that apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each?
  • that apples are a member of the rose family?
  • that the top apple producers around the world are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy?
  • that apples account for 50 percent of international deciduous fruit tree production?
  • that a peck of apples weighs 10.5 pounds?
  • that it takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider?

Source of facts: United States Apple Association

Give It Some Time!

September 5, 2014

Having grown up in the country where we had a huge garden with quite the assortment of fruits and vegetables, Mom was always bletting something (mostly tomatoes) on the windowsills and countertops of the kitchen.  Until now, I never knew that there was actually a word for this method of ripening fruit.


BLET-ing \, noun;

1.  the ripening of fruit, especially of fruit stored until the desired degree of softness is attained.

I Love You, A Bushel and a Peck!

August 27, 2014

This is the opening line from the popular song by Frank Loesser that was published in 1950 and introduced in the Broadway musical Guys and Dolls.  But exactly how much volume is contained in a bushel and a peck?  The answer: roughly ten gallons.  A bushel is a standard unit of dry, not liquid, volume most often used in agriculture.  A bushel is comprised of 4 pecks or 8 gallons.   That’s a lot of fruit or vegetable.  If you are looking for something a  little smaller, you could always settle for a quart, a punnet, or a pint.


PUHN-it \, noun;

1.  a small container or basket for strawberries or other fruit.

Refreshing Variation!

May 17, 2014

I have long been a fan of chicken salad (as either a sandwich or a salad) and last summer my sister-in-law, Myra, served this wonderful variation that was to die for!  Why do I like this particular recipe?  Perhaps I like the tropical fruit, or maybe I really like the spiciness of the curry powder; regardless, this has since become my favorite chicken salad recipe.  Thank you Myra, for introducing me to this fabulous concoction!  I made a batch last week!

Tropical Chicken Salad

2 cups of cooked chicken, cubed
1 cup of chopped celery
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of curry powder
1 can (20 ounces) of chunk pineapple, drained
2 large firm bananas, sliced
1 can (11 ounces) of mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup of flaked coconut
Salad greens (optional)
3/4 cup of salted cashew halves

Place chicken and celery in a large bowl.  Combine the mayonnaise and the curry powder in a separate bowl and then add to the chicken and celery mixture and mix well.  Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.Before serving, add the pineapple, bananas, oranges, and coconut; toss gently.  Serve on salad greens if desired.  Sprinkle with the cashews.


A Different Kind of Fruit Salad!

October 30, 2013

If you are looking for a different kind of fruit salad, here is a recipe I recently ran across that is sure to please (and it has bacon!).  Enjoy!


For Chili Nuts:
1 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

For Salad:
1½ pound Winesap or Gala apples (3-4)
1½ pound Crispin or Golden Delicious apples (3-4)
½ slab of bacon cut crosswise into ½ inch sticks
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
16 canned lychees (from a 20 ounce can) drained and quartered, at warm room temperature
½ cup chopped scallions at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in middle.

Stir together all chili nut ingredients in a metal pie plate.  Bake, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and nuts are coated with spice mixture and dry (about 20 minutes).  Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Warm apples in a large bowl of warm water, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes, then drain and pat dry.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until browned and crisp (about 12 minutes).  Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and reserve about 6 tablespoons fat in skillet.

Slice apples into 1/8 inch slices into a large bowl, rotate the apple ¼ turn each time you reach the core.  Gently toss with lime juice.

Heat fat in skillet over medium heat until hot, then pour over apples and gently toss with bacon and pepper.

Divide into 8 bowls and sprinkle with lychees, scallions, and chili nuts.

NOTES: Chili nuts can be made 1 week ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an air-tight container at room temperature.  Bacon can be cooked 3 hours ahead and chilled in fat, uncovered until cool, then covered.  Reheat over medium heat.