I decided to conduct a study
of sorts, to determine which fruit
s make the combinations most pleasing to my palate. To this end I got into my possession five fruit types for an initial pairing overview, these being: one Gala apple
, one box of dark sweet cherries
, one box of red Chilean grapes
, one California naval orange
, and one white peach
. I happened to acquire, as well, a pear
and a pineapple
, but decided that would be too many fruits starting with 'P,' and so I forced them to compete in a game of chance, in which the peach prevailed. Which is good as well because pineapples, though tasty, are the biggest pain
. And, I must confess, I thought the pineapple would be an overpowering fruit anyway, and that the pear would be too similar to the apple.
Having selected my final five, it was time to put them to the test. I washed all my fruit in a basin in the back yard, then brought them to the kitchen, where I laid out on my cutting board one of each of the apple, orange, and peach, and five each of the cherries and grapes. I peeled the larger fruits and then sliced from each five segments; and I then split open the cherries and pitted them, and peeled the grapes and simply opened them up to pluck out the seeds. I lay them out on the cutting board in the various combinatorials to be sampled, then placed a fork
alongside. I set up my laptop, where I had prepared a chart upon which to record my findings, on the kitchen table. I began, first by eating one of each of the individual fruit pieces to create an impression of its unique textures
brought to the scene, clearing the palate
with water between tries. Spearing the fork first through the cherry-and-apple combination, I boldly launched the experiment.
And here are my results -- your mileage may vary
Apple and Cherry: pleasant, but both texture and flavour of the apple really overwhelmed the combination; tried it again later with a smaller slice of apple, to the same effect
Apple and Grape: I used a smaller piece of apple; a bit tart, but delightfully so; texture of the apple dominated, but flavour of the grape was a bit stronger than flavour of the apple; I note there is on the market supposedly an apple which tastes like a grape, called a grapple, which makes me think of grappling
Apple and Orange: orange overwhelmed the flavour, leaving just a hint of apple to intrude upon it; the two textures together seemed odd, unnatural, with the crispness of the apple contrasted (rather poorly, I thought) against the soft juiciness of the orange, which seemed to melt away while the apple still required much mastication
Apple and Peach: interesting flavour combination, a bit light; not as full-flavoured as the others; again, crisp apple texture was the dominant texture
Cherry and Grape: flavour of the grape was much stronger, but the cherry definitely made its presence known; not particularly sweet, cherry texture was more apparent
Cherry and Orange: irresistible; yes, the orange flavour was perhaps a bit dominant but the cherry was distinct and more accented by it than subdued by it; no seemingly dominant texture, as if they were too similar for it to particularly seem like either one; I would call this cherrange, which would then almost rhyme with orange
Cherry and Peach: very complementary -- the flavours almost seemed to dance, stepping on my taste buds at different moments rather than intermingling; no overwhelming component to the texture
Grape and Orange: grape flavour comes surprisingly strong in this combination, the whole having more tartness than sweetness; no discernible difference in texture once the tasting was more than momentarily underway
Grape and Peach: not a particularly memorable flavour combination; both tastes were distinct but something about them didn't quite match; not bad tasting, but simply not electrifying; slightly peachy textural domination
Orange and Peach: a very sunny flavouring; peach increasingly became the more apparent flavour of the two; no particular textural dominance
I observe that wherever a combination included something with a grape, it most often came out tasting like a tart whatever-it-was underneath the grape flavour. And that texture has a big impact on overall impression, and so I suspect that an entirely different evaluation would come from using pureed or jellied fruits.
Other fruits thought of but not bought for this study: banana
(doubted it would play well with others), starfruit
(had none handy), dragonfruit
(didn't think of it at the time), various berries (too seedy), lemon
I don't even think of as fruit that are eaten individually, but simply cooked with. And then there are grapefruit
, many more I can't think of at the moment, but surely enough for a dozen more permutations of this day's study.