Tropical Fruit vs. Deciduous Fruit

Taken by me at the WACA in Perth the day that ...Image via Wikipedia
An Australian cricket team in happier days: Perth 2006.
With the Ashes series all but decided in England’s favour. And deservedly so too, perhaps it’s time us Aussies learnt to lose gracefully (hint, hint, Ricky Ponting!). And who better to learn from than the very English who have bested us?

Last Ashes series in Australia, to distract from their teams miserable performance, I read that the Barmy Army took to chanting the following chant:

We’re fat, we’re round, three dollars to the pound!

What’s that? The exchange rate? English fans are singing about the performance of their currency in relation to Australia’s? Yes, that was the case - you gotta love those barmy poms!

So, as a distraction of my own: “English food vs. Australian food” or more specifically “Tropical Fruit vs. Deciduous Fruit”. I must warn my readers, however, that I’m no botanist and I am going to using the terms “Tropical” and “Deciduous” shall we say “loosely”. And, if I happen to claim some mediterranean fruits as “tropical” forgive me, in penance I shan’t include the really unbeatable foods like coffee and chocolate because they don’t grow in Australia.

The "hedgehog" style is a common way...Image via Fir0002Wikipedia
Australian Mangoes
To begin with: Mangoes. As I was surprised to find earlier this year, you can get mangoes in “Old Blightey”, and I was even more astounded to hear a work colleague confess that she didn’t actually like mangoes! But, the reason is, I suspect, that the mangoes you’ll find in Morrisons or Sainsbury’s aren’t really mangoes. I mean, sure technically they are, but no, not really. A mango isn’t sour. Sure, in the early part of the mango season, you’ll find one with some green sour-ish patches, but the ones one sale in Morrisons could be substituted for lemons! To enjoy the real mango experience, you have to come down under, or better yet, visit India - because in all honesty, the mangoes I tried when I was in India beat anything I have had before or since! When you bite into a ripe red and gold mango you’re biting into a summer’s worth of tropical sunshine, a mango is unbelievably sweet like no other fruit. Sweet but mellow and deliciously juicy, you know it’s ripe and ready to be devoured when you can put it to your nose and literally breath-in the decadent excess of sugar it has stored. Mangoes go straight onto the top of the list.

Next, Strawberries. We get strawberries down here in Australia. Great big juicy Queensland strawberries, some as big as apples, and they taste like... they taste like... well, to be honest, they don’t really taste of anything, I don’t know what the big fuss is with strawberries? Or at least I didn’t until my first ever visit to the Northern Hemisphere, Québec, England, Finland, France, all delivered strawberries that were unbelievably sweet and full of flavour. In Australia, strawberries are generally eaten dipped in sugar and a punnet occasionally rots in the fridge uneaten. In England, a punnet might be finished on the same day it was bought, especially if it was bought from the local farmer’s market.

Strawberries gariguettes DSC03052Image via Wikipedia
French Gariguette strawberries
Blueberries. I could say the same for blueberries as I said for strawberries, and for that matter, blackcurrents, raspberries and cherries. I don’t think blueberries and cherries suffer as much as strawberries from the tendency to tastelessness - they simply don’t grow to enormous, watery proportions like strawberries do - but there’s no doubt they taste better when grown in a cold latitude.

Grapefruit. It’s a bit sour, being a member of the citrus family, but if you follow these directions you can’t go wrong. 1) Cut the grapefruit in half. 2) Cut out the white “pith” from the centre. 3) Cut out the flesh of the fruit into “pizza” segments, but be careful not to cut through the skin. 4) Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar over both halves. 5) Repeat step 4 - it is a member of the citrus family remember. 6) Dump another teaspoon of sugar right in the centre from where you removed the pith. 7) With a teaspoon, eat each of the segments you cut. 8) Now here comes the best part, close your eyes and picture yourself stranded on a tropical island where you haven’t had anything to drink for days, lift the grapefruit half to your lips as if it were a cup, now pour the delicious sugary fruit juice into your mouth, being sure to let some of it miss and run down your cheeks and neck in true Robinson Crusoe style!

Now, you can’t do that in England can you?

Ok ok, next fruit. Deciduous this time. Um, how about apples? Nice, but a bit boring. Then plums? Yeah, they’re delicious, but frankly the more sun the better and Australia has more than England. How about peaches? Ditto what I said about plums. Well, we’ll have to choose a tropical then: chillies! Fiery and exciting, forceful and with a take-no-prisoners attitude, definitely not a fruit for the faint-hearted. Sure you can grown them in England as well as in Australia, but whose temperament do they really suit better?

Well, if you’ve been following the Ashes series this summer, you’d have to say: “England”.
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JJ said...

Wow! This is nothing like American football.

Judie said...

We eat a lot of mangoes, and I must confess that ours aren't as ripe as they should be, but to me, that is fine because I like tart fruit. I love to toss one, cubed, in a salad.

I painted a mango for my "Health Food Series" and will post that painting on my blog, just for you!

Judie said...

Well, I feel kind of stupid! I already put that mango up on my blog a while back1 Hope you liked it!!

Chibi Janine said...

I have to say my joy of fruit was rather late in developing thankfully not my sons case, fruit is always available his favourite being grapes. I like pinapples though Banana are great self packaged meals. I have heard that originally Bananas were much creamier but didn't transport well so they got altered over time to what we have now.

Also I'd like to say GO ENGLAND! I do have a little bit of national pride, have to route about a bit for it though. I am more of a world without borders sort of person and not really big on sports.
Also thank you for taking the time to follow my blog and I wish you a very Happy New Year

Akseli Koskela said...

I'd say JJ. You don't even have to particularly enjoy cricket to enjoy a day at the cricket.

I did spot the mango Judie. Looks great.

I tend to agree with you Chibi J, although, in the case of the Ashes, it's such an old rivalry that I can't help but take an interest.

Judie said...

Only one day left in 2010. Happy New Year!

JJ said...

Happy New Year !!!