Concerning Certain Varieties Of Fruits (pineapple, Kaki, Chinese Lichées, Mangoes, And Guavas)
( Originally Published 1913 )
The pineapple is probably not exceeded by any other fruit in regard to perfume and aromatic fragrance. The juice fairly pours out of the fruit even when it is not quite ripe, but in that case it is rather acrid in taste. In this condition it is not so easily digested as when quite ripe ; the core is very tough and only the portion between it and the skin should be eaten. Balland states that fresh pineapples contain 12 per cent. of sugar and about 87 per cent. of water; the canned fruit con-tains 18.40 per cent. of sugar, with 4 per cent. of other carbohydrates, and only 0.57 per cent. of raw fiber. Pineapples are a very refreshing fruit: scarcely exceeded by any other in that respect. Unfortunately they are expensive in this country (Austria), although in Berlin at the large fruit dealers' one can get some at 80 pfennigs (20 cents) a pound, and 1 mark (25 cents) for a better grade of fruit. I found them cheapest in Florida, where I could buy a whole one for 10 cents; while there I ate a medium-sized pineapple every day. In this country (Austria) pineapples are grown in greenhouses, but they do not have the sweet taste nor the aroma of the native fruit. I consider the pineapple the most effective fruit in constipation.
Still more rare with us is the kaki, a fruit indigenous in Japan, and which is cultivated in southern Tyrol, Italy, and the south of France. When thoroughly ripe it is full of juice, which fairly pours out of it. It is a very easily digested fruit, because the pulp is very soft, almost of the consistency o,f a purée. I was able to eat 5 or 6 large ones without any inconvenience. It contains a certain quantity of tannic acid, but the taste is in no way affected by it ; it also acts well upon the bowels, notwithstanding the acid content. According to König, it contains 66 per cent. water, 0.83 per cent. protein, 0.70 per cent. fat, 14.57 per cent, sugar, and 11.14 per cent. of other carbohydrates, together with 1.70 per cent, o,f cellulose and 80 per cent. of ash. It is consequently very rich in carbohydrates.
The lichée, a fruit which comes from China, is very rarely seen in this country (Austria). It has a very thin, brownish skin, which is easily broken; the pulp of the fruit is brownish red and has a very pleasant taste, somewhat like that of dried figs, very sweet, and with a slightly peppery after-taste. To be well digested it must be thoroughly masticated, but even then fibrous portions will remain in the mouth, which should not be swallowed. Another variety of exotic fruit, much more digestible, is the mango, which is a yellow or brownish, round or somewhat egg-shaped fruit, with an abundance of juice and a very pleasant taste. It comes from Brazil, Java, and Africa. A very pleasant and healthful fruit is the guava, which grows in South America and Java. When stewed or preserved it is very readily digested, and it also assists the action of the bowels, possibly on account of the cane-sugar contained in it.