Grapefruit and bitter fruit

Category: Blog

I used to find certain repugnance in a grapefruit. That rose-tinted cask in the fruit isle transmitted an immediate signal to evade this exotic batch of citric acid.

And I used to generally be averse to all sour fruit. Fruit had to contain at least some element of sweetness.

I associated fruit with dessert back when I still expected something sweet to accompany a meal. And from a certain point my ‘dessert’ consisted of nothing but fruit. But I still expected it sweet, which naturally disqualified grapefruit, or lemons.

Then I came to the realization that sugar in fruit is still sugar, and anything sweet functions as a drug. Or better yet, that sugar is a drug. Like cocaine.

In fact, I fail to see the difference. Expecting sweetness in nutrition creates dependence on more sweetness, which, in turn, fosters perpetual acquisition and consumption of sweetness.

Habitual sugar consumption may involve just fruit, or extend to pastries, ice cream, nutella, granola bars, chocolate, or any synthesized concoction with added sweeteners. One could even justify a series of benefits present in a subset of these products. But they all cleverly house the underlying drug.

Commerce depends on your consumption of the sweeter food. It’s generally much cheaper to produce, as sugar can masquerade the otherwise non-beneficial or even degenerate composition.

Everywhere sweet food (and liquids) are packaged, marketed, sold and consumed. Everywhere drug dealing takes place - a perfectly sanctioned and transparent form of drug dealing.

Having sufficiently drilled this notion into my head, I adapted new behavior. Take pleasure in the bitter, in the acidic, and in the raw.

These days, grapefruit tastes phenomenal. So does a plain lemon. As does a sour espresso coffee. Or plain, unsweetened kefir, if you’re into fermented beverages.

Mind you, only four years ago I found all of the above products as inedible as bark. Now, I adore these staples of bitter bliss. I’ve come to expect fruit to be sour, heavy preference for the green apples or the more acidic relatives of the citrus family.

Naturally, the sour/sweet metric forms not a binary, but an analog scale. An apple or an orange will generally taste less sweet than a mango or papaya.

In fact, sweetness doesn’t necessarily align with the sugar quantity in direct proportion. However, it makes little difference for my purposes. The addictive qualities I find enough of a detractor.

In many of the Latin American countries, juice (rather than water) comes complimentary with a meal. I’ll even grant the benefit of the doubt of it being naturally extracted.

Yet it’s nearly always of the sweeter variety: orange, melon, peach, mango, strawberry, and the sort, likely even further enhanced by sugar. A cheap little marketing staple to grant the illusion of added value. I occasionally take a sip, although fail to retain a cringe.

Poland is one of the few countries I recall that offered plain, unsweetened grapefruit juice on quiet a pervasive basis, including at bars. That had become my de-facto beverage.

Alas, grapefruit (citrus × paradisi) cultivation and distribution lies far in-between, prevalent more among the subtropical regions. I don’t always find it in markets.

Yet pomelo rosado (pink grapefruit) is commonly sold here in Santiago, Chile. (Perhaps it’s imported from the neighboring Argentina, one of the larger producers in South America. Otherwise, China and the US are the leading cultivators.)

That’s it boys and girls. Don’t become drug induced by sweets or even the sweeter fruit. Don’t create a lifetime of dependence on the dessert. Re-cultivate the pleasure for the sour.

Questions, comments? Connect.