Fresh Fruits And Vegetables
( Originally Published 1926 )
277 Q. Is it true that bananas that are allowed to ripen on the tree are tasteless and unpalatable?
A. Yes. The banana that ripens on the plant is insipid, almost tasteless, and only a trifle sweet. Only bananas that have been artificially ripened are sweet and palatable.
278 Q. What are kumquats?
A. Small, thin-skinned, orange-style fruit, of about the size of the jumbo pecan. The fruit of most varieties is oblong, but of some varieties it is round. Used largely in making preserves. The Kumquat tree is native to China and Japan, but is now cultivated in many places, especially in Florida, Southern Texas, and Louisiana.
279 Q. What kind of plum is the Damson plum,
A. A small, dark blue plum, of about the size of a large cherry. Has a firm, yellow flesh, but is, as a rule, too sour to be eaten fresh. Excel-lent for making jelly, preserves, and for pie filling.
280 Q. Why is the grapefruit so called?
A. The name "grapefruit" originated from the fact that the fruit commonly occurs on the trees in clusters, somewhat resembling clusters of grapes.
281 Q. What is a "pomelo"?
A. Another name for grapefruit.
282 Q. Why is the cantaloupe so called?
A. The word cantaloupe is derived from the Italian town of Cantalupo, where this variety of muskmelon was first grown.
283 Q. Why is the muskmelon so called?
A. Because of the resemblance of its odor to the odor of the musk, which is a soft, reddish-brown powdery substance, obtained from the musk-deer.
284 Q. What kind of fruit is the pomegranate?
A. The pomegranate is of about the size of a large orange, has a hard leathery rind, inside of which is a quantity of juicy pulp of a pleas-ant, cooling taste and an abundance of seeds. The seeds are not pleasant to eat and are used for medicinal purposes. The pomegranate tree was originally grown in Persia, but now is cultivated in the countries along the Mediterranean, as well as in California, Arizona, and some of the other states in this country.
285 Q. How do cranberries grow?
A. On a slender, creeping plant with short
Cranberries — the Way They Grow stems, four inches to one foot long. The cranberry plant grows in marshy ground and is native to a narrow belt of country along the Atlantic coast from Maine to New Jersey. It is also cultivated in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and a few other parts of the country.
The fruit of the cranberry is borne on short, upright shoots of the previous season's growth, and is harvested by means of a cranberry rake, which is operated by being forced through the branches, thus pulling off the fruit.
286 Q. What are the best known varieties of cranberries
A. The Early Black; with a bell-shaped form; the Early Red, with spherical form; and the Howe, with an oblong form.
287 Q. What are lingon berries, and for what are they used?
A. Lingon berries are somewhat similar to cranberries, and are used for the same purposes as the cranberries. They are used almost entirely by the Scandinavian people, especially during the holiday season. Lingon berries grow in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and are packed in barrels with water for shipment, as they spoil easily if not kept in water.
288 Q. What are alligator pears? Where do they grow, how do they grow, and how are they used?
A. The alligator pear, also known by its proper name avocado, grows on fine spreading evergreen trees in the northern part of South America, in Mexico, in Cuba, in the West Indies, in Florida, and in California. The fruit is large, weighing up to three and four pounds, having a tough skin under which is the bright green flesh, the edible part. The fruit grows in various shapes, the most common of which are the pear, round, and oval.
While the alligator pear is referred to as a fruit, it is easten as a vegetable, usually sliced as the cucumber is sliced, sprinkled with salt and pepper, with a little vinegar or lime juice poured over it. It is essentially a salad fruit. The flesh of the alligator pear is very nutritious.
289 Q. What is "Swiss Chard"
A. Swiss chard is the name of a variety of beet, grown only for its leaves and stalks which are used as "greens." It is also called "leaf-beet."
290 Q. What is romaine?
A. Romaine is a leaf lettuce, the leaves of which are quite long and usually shaped some-what like a spoon.