When I was a child, my mother's idea of dessert was often 'fruit'. My mom grew up in an orchard in the Niagara Fruit Belt, and she loved all the fruits of the growing season. I admit, the local fruit is delicious, but the season is too short, and for the remainder of the year we were stuck buying fruit kept in cold storage or imported. The only fruit from the grocery store that I really enjoyed during winter was the citrus fruit - naval oranges and clementines.
Here in Mexico, I've been exposed to a whole new range of fruits, including mango, pitaya, and papaya. Old staples such as watermelon, cantaloup, banana and pineapple are here year round, but are better at certain times of the year - right now seems to be one of the best times for the melons. We also eat imported fruits such as kiwi, and fruits grown in other regions of Mexico such as red or green grapes, apples, and pears.
My #1 favorite fruit is the Mango, a fruit I had never tasted until I lived here in Mexico. There are many varieties of mango, even here on the island - deep yellow, light yellow, greenish-red. My favorite is the deep yellow - not sure of the correct name, but here's a picture. We eat a large plate of fruit each morning with breakfast, but THIS mango also qualifies as dessert, it is so yummy!
The Pitaya is about to come into season. The pitaya is sort of like a cross between kiwi and honeydew melon - soft pulpy white flesh with a bunch of tiny, crunchy black seeds like the kiwi (although I think the pitaya seeds are a little crunchier). Pitaya is a refreshing fruit, so great to eat in the hot summer months.
One tropical fruit I can't seem to get to like is the Papaya. I know it's very popular here, but when I eat it all I can taste is gas. Yup, gas - as in the kind of gas that is emitted from the human body, usually in secret.
Now, I don't really know what gas tastes like, but isn't there a relationship between taste and smell? There is some trigger there when I put a piece of papaya in my mouth, and it is distasteful.
I know a few words for human gas - but I only use two in my vocabulary. The Spanish word I know is 'pedo' - a cute little word Miguel taught me. "Oops, escaped one pedo, excuse me". My mother taught us to call it a 'toot'. "Did you just toot?"
And so that makes me wonder about the origin of the saying "tooty-fruity". Did the word come about after someone tasted papaya and decided, like me, that it tasted like gas? "Oh, that fruit is disgusting, it tastes like a toot!". Could be, you know.