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InquilineKea

How to get predomesticated fruit (esp. apples/oranges)?

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Alex,

 

How to get predomesticated fruit (esp. apples/oranges)?

 

Well, they aren't exactly pre-domesticated, but I get un-domesticated apples by foraging them from the abandoned apple trees that my golf course community was built on. I picked 50-60 lbs of them in mid-August and have been keeping them in the refrigerator ever since, eating one of them per day. They remain very crisp and tasty - a bit more tart and less sweet than typical store bought apples. Here is a picture of some of them in my fridge:

 

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Here is a closeup of a typical 'wild' one (right) compared with a 'domesticated' one (left) that my wife bought at the supermarket:

 

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Notice how much smaller, darker and spotted the wild one is? I take that as a sign of stress, and so it is likely to have more healthy phytonutrients. Plus, being small, the "skin:flesh" ratio on the wild apples is a lot higher, resulting in better overall nutrition. On occasion when I've had an overabundance of some fruits, esp. apples, I've resorted to peeling them, eating the skin and composting the flesh.

 

So what are those two other fruits in the background? The big prickly one is a whole durian, the King of Fruit, which is probably my favorite fruit. The gash out of it is where the pod that I ate this morning used to reside. Here is a picture of what a durian pod looks like once its been removed from the prickly fruit:

 

saDlE9O.png

 

Appetizing isn't it?  :huh: Looks a bit like an alien or (I hesitate to say it), giant maggot/slug. Due to its taste, texture and aroma, durian is definitely an acquired taste, but I recommend everyone try it at least once in their life. It has the mouthfeel of custard, and its taste varies depending on the cultivar and ripeness. But I liken it to a cross between almonds and onions, only with some sweetness. As I said, it's an acquired taste, but well worth trying. For those who are intimidated by the whole fruit (which typically costs about $15-20, with 5 or 6 pods like the one shown, and lasts me over a week), but still want to try durian without that sort of commitment, you can purchase frozen durian in "jewel" cases in any good Asian market. Here is what it looks like in that form:

 

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Obviously, I'm not foraging for durian in Western Pennsylvania - they come from trees like this one:

 

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in the far east (primarily Thailand these days)  where they have largely been domesticated. I'm not sure how different they are from their original form. There are many cultivars, some of them highly prized with very distinctive tastes. Unfortunately it is hard to get anything but the Mon thong variety in the US. The reason I bring up durian (besides to plug my favorite fruit) is to highlight that an alternative way to get more / different nutrients from fruits and vegetables is to eat a wide variety of them, not just the standard apples and oranges.

 

Speaking of variety, and alternatives to store-bought fruit, that other, yellowish fruit sitting on top of the durian a few pictures above is a homegrown kumquat. I received a small tree as a father's day gift 1.5 years ago on-line from Logee's Nursery. Unfortunately this particular variety isn't available right now, but they have others. Here is a picture of my tree (left), which is now about 3ft tall, and a stock photo from Logee's website (right). It lives in my family room during the cold PA winter months, and goes outside in the summer. 

 

M2rGUNu.png      dsXSl9r.png

 

The fruits of the kumquat tree are small (relative to other citrus), and I've only harvested about 10 of them so far - starting this fall. But they are delicious, bursting with citrus flavor, and I feel good about eating the whole thing (peel and all) since I know they haven't been sprayed.

 

Finally, as I've described before, I foraged over the summer for wild blackberries/raspberries from bushes near my house. I gathered about 60lbs of these wild berries, which I froze and and I'm steadily eating through this winter. Here are samples of my foraged berries (right - after they've been thawed) compared with store-bought raspberries (left):

 

IlWVl2P.png

 

Store-bought blackberries are about twice as large as the raspberries, so they really dwarf the wild ones. Again, in my book smaller is (likely) better from a nutrition perspective. I also grow alpine strawberries in my garden during the summer months, which are also tiny and packed with flavor and presumably nutrients.

 

So here are three ideas to get more nutritious fruit - forage for it, grow your own, or buy unusual types / cultivars. There are good guides to foraging wild foods online.

 

Hope this helps!

 

--Dean

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Wow - thanks so much for the amazingly comprehensive reply! I remember eating the tarty wild apples from the apple trees in my yard (though there aren't many of them). They're still quite tasty and I eat just as much of them, although they often tend to have holes in them. I wish there was also a way to easily buy them.

Edited by InquilineKea

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So what are those two other fruits in the background? The big prickly one is a whole durian, the King of Fruit, which is probably my favorite fruit. The gash out of it is where the pod that I ate this morning used to reside. Here is a picture of what a durian pod looks like once its been removed from the prickly fruit:

 

saDlE9O.png

 

Appetizing isn't it?  :huh: Looks a bit like an alien or (I hesitate to say it), giant maggot/slug. Due to its taste, texture and aroma, durian is definitely an acquired taste, but I recommend everyone try it at least once in their life. It has the mouthfeel of custard, and its taste varies depending on the cultivar and ripeness. But I liken it to a cross between almonds and onions, only with some sweetness. As I said, it's an acquired taste, but well worth trying. 

i

 

--Dean

 

Thanks Dean,

 

As chance would have it after reading about them for many years I tried my first Durian yesterday. I asked my girlfriend to bring one down from an Asian market in San Francisco where she lives. It is a quite amazingly constructed and unique fruit and tastes wonderful, at least to the two of us, reminiscent of custard and pineapple. Apparently some find the taste and smell quite repellent but as with Natto that's not my experience even from the start, without any "acquiring" being needed.  

 

Still despite the calorie bomb energy density (1.47 Cals/g) I wouldn't put the taste above say, a cherimoya or the soft form of the persimmon or even the humble banana (very ripe that is). My favorite fruit I think remains the avocado though admittedly in combination with other things.

 

It's easy to project higher value onto things that are rare or difficult to obtain; look at the case of the pineapple itself:

 

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