Friday, February 10, 2012

Go Goji Go!

The purpose of this email is to provide a conversation-starter for your Friday night dinner table - please print and share....

Dear Body,
 I know I'm not supposed to feed you a lot of carbs. I know that fruit is high in carbs. But this week was Tu-bishvat - the New Year of the trees! It's a mitzvah to enjoy extra fruit!

(Greatest way to break your diet is to make it into a mitzvah.)

So every year at this time I go to Whole Foods Market looking for as many different fruits as I can find. Hopefully, I'll also find something novel.

This year's harvest included: olives, grapes, dates, figs, pomegranate, walnuts, cashews, almonds, 5 varieties of apple, 2 types of grapefruit, 2 kinds of lemon, lime, cacao nibs, pineapple (not from a tree but looks great on the table), red bananas (not strictly speaking a tree but exotic!), mango, 2 kinds of pears, kiwi, prunes, apricots (the only fruit I really don't care for), grape juice and wine, coconut water (drink it cold), capers, maple syrup.... And don't forget chocolate, which after all does come from a tree!

And for a new fruit, I found these wolfberries, AKA "Himalayan goji berries". Allegedly really great for you, this article on wikipedia suggests treating such claims with skepticism. This article may present a more balanced view.

How did they taste? A bit bland. If you are going to try them, I'd recommend them with cereal or in a recipe, or try the chocolate-covered ones. Chocolate always seems to help. 

Question for your table: What's the most exotic fruit you ever tried? What's the most exotic fruit you ever refused to try? If you had to be stuck on a desert island with exactly one type of fruit tree, which would you prefer?

In my book, I describe the ancient Talmudic view that part of our purpose in this world is to enjoy the healthy pleasures that are offered to us. When a person arrives at his metaphorical Day of Judgment, they're going to ask him, "How did you like them Goji berries?"

Now, finally, I have an answer. How about you?

Shabbat Shalom