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Dried Fruits

( Originally Published 1926 )

236 Q. How many sizes of prunes are there?

A. Prunes are graded into ten sizes: 20-30s, 30-40s, 40-50s, 50-60s, 60-70s, 70-80s 80-90s, 90-100s, 100-110s, 110-120s, the figures referring to the number of prunes to the pound. Thus, to say, for instance, that the size of certain prunes is 30-40, means that the prunes run from 30 to 40 to the pound.

237 Q. Is it to the advantage of the consumer to buy the large sized prunes or the small sized?

A. Actual tests have proven that there is much more meat for the money in a pound of small prunes than there is in a pound of large ones. The buyer of a pound of the 110-120 size prunes, for instance, gets nearly three times as much prune meat for his money as the buyer of a pound of the 30-40 size.

The following table gives the weight of the pits and of the meat in a pound of prunes of all the ten sizes :

One Pound Weight Weight
Each of Pits of Meat
20- 30 2 1/4 oz 13% oz.
30- 40 2% oz. 13% oz.
40- 50 2% oz. 13% oz.
50- 60 2 1/2 oz. 13% oz.
60- 70 2% oz. 13 1/4 oz.
70- 80 3 1/4 oz. 12% oz.
80- 90 3% oz. 12% oz.
90-100 3% oz. 12 1/4 oz.
100-110 3 7/8 oz. 12 1/8 oz.
110-120 4% oz. 11% oz.

Thus, to a pound of 110-120 prunes there are 11% ounces of meat and to a pound of 30-40s there are 13% ounces, and if they both cost the same, the big prunes would be the better buy. But the difference in price between these two sizes is so great, that the consumer must pay nearly three times as much for a pound of meat from the 30-40s as he pays for a pound of meat from the 110-120s. And the meat is, of course, identical in both cases.

238 Q. What is the difference between the California and the Oregon prunes?

A. The California prunes, also known as French prunes, are sweet and require very little, if any, sugar. The Oregon prunes, also known as Italian prunes, are tart and are generally improved by the addition of considerable sugar. The Oregon prunes are especially liked by the Jewish people and by the people of Southern Europe. (A limited quantity of small-sized French prunes, known as "Oregon Petites," are also grown in Oregon.)

239 Q. What are "silver" prunes?

A. A variety of prunes, yellow in color. When growing they resemble green gage plums.

240 Q. How many varieties of raisins are there?

A. Roughly speaking, there are only two varieties of raisins Muscats and Seedless.

241 Q. What is the difference between the "Thompson" and the "Sultana" seedless raisins?

A. The "Thompson" raisin is very sweet and is the true seedless raisin, being entirely seedless. It is oblong in shape and golden brown in color, with a bluish tinge. The "Sultana" raisin is somewhat tart and contains seeds occasionally. (About one out of every ten or fifteen Sultana raisins has seeds.) It has a yellowish tinge and is not so oblong as the "Thompson" raisin. (The "Thompson" raisin is so named after the man who produced it by improving on the Sultana raisin.)

242 Q. Are the straw-colored raisins natural or are they bleached?

A. They are bleached.

243 Q. What is meant by "puffed" raisins?

A. "Puffed" raisins are seeded raisins that are not sticky. They are prepared by a special patented process that leaves the raisins plump and separate. They can be shaken out of the carton and used like seedless.

244 Q. What is meant by "recleaned" raisins?

A. All seedless varieties as they come from the trays contain a certain percentage of raisins which are simply pit and skin and also raisins that have cap stems. Such seedless raisins from which the imperfect raisins and those with the cap stems have been removed, are known as "recleaned" raisins.

245 Q. Why are all of the dried currants on the market imported?

A. The currants that grow in the United States are not the same as those that grow in Greece and Australia, the two places from which the dried currants are imported. The dried cur-rant is the fruit of a species of grape vine and is really a sort of seedless raisin, while the cur-rant growing in the United States is the fruit of a bush similar in appearance to the goose-berry bush, and is a different fruit altogether.

246 Q. What is the difference between Mohr Park and Blenheim apricots?

A. Both varieties stand for the highest grade apricots grown. The Mohr Park is a more meaty apricot than the Blenheim, but the Blenheim has a higher color, and is preferred by some people on that account.

247 Q. Are there evaporated cranberries on the market?

A. Yes. They are usually sold in 1-lb. pack-ages. The sauce made from the dried, or "evaporated," cranberries is practically the same as that made from fresh cranberries.

248 Q. How does citron grow?

A. The real citron of commerce grows on a tree similar to an orange or a lemon tree, except that the citron tree is much more busby. The citron is a large, lemon-like fruit with a very thick peel and a small amount of acid pulp. The pulp is similar to that of a lemon but is less acidulous. The hardiest types attain a length of nine inches and weigh as much as five pounds.

249 Q. From where does the citron peel come?

A. While a small quantity of citron peel is produced in California from citron grown there, nearly 90 per cent of the citron peel on the market is produced from citron grown in Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, and Greece.

250 Q. What is meant by "drained" citron peel?

A. The drained citron peel, while prepared with sugar, is not coated with sugar at all.

251 Q. What is candied citron melon and how does it differ from candied citron?

A. Candied citron melon is prepared from the rind of the citron melon, a variety of water-melon. The candied citron, the citron peel generally used, is the candied peel of the fruit of the citron tree, a citrus fruit similar to the lemon, but larger and possessing a thick rind of characteristic flavor. Government authorities have ruled that candied citron melon can-not be sold as candied citron, but that it should be labeled "Candied citron melon," "Candied watermelon," or give some similar designation.

252 Q. What is the difference between "glace" and "candied" orange, lemon, and citron peels?

A. The glace peels are covered with a thin coating of glace sugar, while the candied peels are covered with a slightly heavier coating and are allowed to dry with a sediment of sugar in the cup.

253 Q. What are "Fard" and what are "Persian" dates?

A. The Fard date grows in Arabia, has a dark color and somewhat hard flesh. The Persian date is lighter in color, has a softer flesh, and is larger in size.

254 Q. What is the difference between the Hallawi and Khadrawi dates?

A. Both of these varieties grow in Persia, and are quite alike in flavor, the difference being in the texture and color; the Hallawi date has a bright golden color, while the Khadrawi has a darker color and is not quite as firm in texture as the Hallawi.

255 Q. Are all of the dates on the market imported?

A. No. Some of the finest dates in the world are grown in California and Arizona. They are quite large in size and of such fancy quality that they are almost entirely used as a dessert fruit.

256 Q. Why are some figs white and others black?

A. The white and black figs are two different varieties. The Smyrna, the Calimyrna, and the Adriatic figs are of the white variety, while the "Mission Black" fig, cultivated largely in the Southern states, is of the black variety.

257 Q. What are "Calimyrna" figs?

A. Figs grown in California from stock brought from Smyrna, Turkey.

258 Q. What are nectarines?

A. The nectarine is a variety of peach, having a smooth skin. It is a smaller fruit than the peach.

259 Q. What is the difference between "sun-dried" and "evaporated" fruits?

A. The term "sun-dried" is commonly used to designate fruit dried without use of artificial heat. The term "evaporated" is commonly used to designate fruit dried by the use of artificial heat.

260 Q. What is the difference between "evaporated" and "dehydrated" fruits?

A. Both terms are commonly used to designate that the fruits have been dried by the use of artificial heat.

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