Monday, May 3, 2010

My New Idea of Dessert: Fruit

I've always been very suspicious of eating foods that I'm not already familiar with. I couldn't be sure if I would like it... What if I hated it? I certainly didn't want to spend any money on something that I knew I would hate. And I probably would hate it. Especially the texture.

I believe they refer to people like me as picky eaters.

I knew that I would have to get over my food-shyness if I wanted to eat healthier. I was actually dreading the day I had to go to the grocery store and start picking out those weird plants and fruits that scared me. Luckily, I quickly came to the section on fruit in Mireille's book. She somehow managed to make things I normally second-guess before putting in my mouth sound almost tasty. At the very least, I was intrigued enough to try out some of the recipes.

Mother would make a vanilla pudding topped with the berries, their juices flowing down the shimmering sides- not only lovely to behold but uniquely delicious, with the thick but subtle flavor of the pudding, just slightly sweetened, contrasting with the soft mushiness of the defrosted berries and the perfumed coulis.

Fascinating no?

The one food group I'm positive I don't get enough of is fruit. I decided the easiest meal to get fruit in was breakfast. (Plus, I read Skinny Bitch, and the authors recommended fruit in the morning... Something about eating it later would cause it to rot slowly in your stomach. Gross.) I originally bought canned fruit to eat. Because so many had artificial chemicals in them, I was really limited in my options. For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to buy the giant pineapple cans and eat the whole thing as a meal. Sure, it had a lot of calories...but it was fruit, right?

Of course that's hardly healthy, and after a few days it's hardly appetizing. Plus, since it was the middle of winter, I wanted something heartier for breakfast. Enter dessert.

Since I was trying out the idea of courses, I figured I should add dessert. I was hesitant to add it before since I had a tendency to stuff my face with brownies, and I knew it would throw everything off. I wasn't sure if I could be trusted.

The French seem to have a broader notion of desserts than Americans do. American desserts tend to be rich and heavy, frequently defeating the goals of balance and eating in moderation. They are also much sweeter on average, which is very much a matter of conditioned expectation. In France, we would not have such a dessert following other rich courses. It's more appropriate when the preceeding fare is lighter. By the same token, not having room for dessert would suggest that the preceeding parts of the meal have been too large or too rich.

I stuck with the pineapple, and discovered one of my new favorite recipes: Grilled Pineapple. I bought a pineapple, learned to slice it, and I saved the rest in the fridge. I would make one slice up for myself as dessert. Obviously, this isn't enough fruit for the day, and I did incorporate it into breakfast and lunch, but I never would have that that something as fresh as pineapple could also be decadent enough for dessert.

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