Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Nectarines: The Perfect Fruit?

No, not quite. But it makes my list of nominees: Apple, Banana, Blueberry, Grape, Nectarine, Peach, Raspberry, Strawberry, Watermelon.

Pros: Grows virtually anywhere; incredibly diverse, with a type to fit every taste and every purpose, from homemade pies to boozy hard cider; acts as nature's toothbrush and keeps those damned doctors away; portable and well-sized for a snack; nice to pick in autumn; keeps well in storage.
Cons: Kind of plain; can bruise easily or even harbor worms (gross!); seeds contain cyanide, which is like spy suicide poison, so that can't be good. By the way, I just don't get the Red Delicious — does anyone actually like those grainy things? Yeck. 

Pros: Plays well with others (smoothies, cereal, sundaes); protective peel keeps chemicals and fellow shoppers from contaminating your food; portable; great for kids; filling and healthy.
Cons: Can get bruised and mushy too quickly; slime factor; seems to attract fruit flies in my experience.

Pros: Wicked delicious; grows in the wild; plays well with others (cereal, smoothies, pancakes); silly with antioxidants.
Cons: Short season; expensive; need to eat like 500 of them; stains clothes.

Pros: Seedless green, when chilled, make a perfect summer snack; hello, wine.
Cons: Can be expensive; imported ones sometimes have poisonous spiders in the packaging, or at least I've convinced myself of that; makes fingers sticky. 

Pros: Delicious, tart and refreshing; portable snack.
Cons: Short season; often end up with under-ripe ones for some reason. 

Pros: Sweeter, juicer version of a nectarine; symbol of sultry summer; tasty in iced tea and other concoctions; peach pit retains flavor and has a cool texture, and can be enjoyed long after you've finished eating the peach itself. (Plum pits are even better. What, you don't do this? Ok fine, I'm a weirdo.) 
Cons: Can be too juicy — makes an absolute mess; fuzz on the outside makes it feel like you're kissing a slobbering, bearded man. 

(Red) Raspberry
Pros: Grows wild, even in your backyard; so delicious; good for you.
Cons: Thorns on plant; wicked expensive; smoosh easily; you only get like six in a package, wtf.

Pros: Delicious, when in season; ideal accompaniment to desserts and cereal, or just with milk and a it of sugar; awesome and easy to dip in chocolate.
Cons: Lately the ones in the grocery store are bigger and don't taste like anything, which is so sketchy; expensive; can be messy. 

Watermelon (Seedless)
Pros: When chilled, the single most refreshing fruit — nay, food — to combat summer's heat; surprisingly nutritious; works great with booze, such as watermelon ale or as a vodka infuser.
Cons: Not really portable; takes up lots of room in fridge; only available in summer.

When it comes right down to it, I gotta go with the apple. It's not a sexy pick, but in my mind, the versatile, unassuming orchard workhorse is simply the most well-rounded fruit there is. Thoughts? Something this controversial will no doubt spark a lively debate! 

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