Since I pretty much love all types of fruit, save mangoes, which I have an unfortunate allergy to, this was a tough choice today. I ultimately ended up with pears as they are definitely in my top five. Mostly because they remind me of autumn which is my favorite season, and even more so because they remind me of Christmas, which is my most favorite season. I’m a particular fan of the Harry & David pears, and was excited to see them in Trader Joe’s last year. I insisted we buy some, but Philippe insisted that the flavor wasn’t elevated enough to justify the extra cost. Yeah, perhaps I was taken by the fact they were individually wrapped like little presents, but one can never underestimate the power of good presentation. Getting to unwrap my fruit like a little gift absolutely made it taste better to me. In the end, we just agreed to disagree.
As a kid I don’t actually remember having a slice of an actual pear. Pears would typically just appear in a cube form in that concoction known as fruit cocktail. Little cubes of pear, that were mostly soft, but occasionally, you’d get one that was hard and crunchy. I didn’t like those those at all, so eating fruit cocktail was always a bit like a dangerous game of roulette. Sometimes it was all good, but other times, it held nasty surprises. I grew up in an era where most fruit came out of a can and was considered to be just as good as the real thing. This was equally the case with vegetables. It was the heyday of convenience foods and though each version was as nutritionally bereft as the next, we eagerly sought them out as some sort of miracle add-on to every meaty meal. These days, I’ve grown to enjoy and prefer the actual fruit, but back then, this version simply seemed rather exotic and weird.
I was well into adulthood before I began to appreciate the original versions of many foods. The natural version that didn’t go through a ton of processing first. What seemed like a miracle back then, feels like a travesty to me today. Fruit is rather amazing in its raw form and much better than the cubed and canned versions I grew up with back in the day. But I think that’s why I always get a little taken when my fruit appears wrapped. It’s just feels like something more familiar. Even when I learn that there’s a better way to enjoy something, I can’t help but feel nostalgic about the memories of my youth. They were such happy memories after all. And that’s certainly something wonderful. But yes, these days, my pears no longer come in cubes and look far more like the original source. Even so, looking back, I have to admit that I enjoyed those little squares. They were the unassuming little predecessors to what would ultimately become my favorite fruit.
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