Saturday, April 13, 2013

Strategic Refreshment

"Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food."  -Hippocrates

I've heard that the average American adult eats 1/2 piece of fruit a day.  Actually, the way I heard the statistic, every other adult eats one piece of fruit per day.  But Dominicans eat fruit.  And they drink even more of it.  They make juice out of everything.  Pineapple, orange, banana, passionfruit (chinola), papaya, mango, strawberry, melon, cherry, lemon (which here really is lime), coconut, zapote, guava, watermelon, guanabana (a thick white fruit that is like nothing you've ever tasted outside of the Caribbean).

And fruit juices are seen to be basically medicinal.  Someone may be sick and mention to you that they're getting better because they're drinking cups and cups of cherry juice.  Or if someone gets Dengue fever people make them guava and red bell pepper juice.  There's a fruit called haguay that makes a juice that to my family tastes a little like paint-thinner that's supposed to be good for circulation.  I offered my maid a date the other day and she asked me what it's used for.  Health and fruit are closely connected here.  And I bet in some ways people are healthier here, even with all the poverty and American influence on the diet, because they drink so much fresh fruit juice.  I mean, the American diet is not exactly world-renowned for being healthy.

Next time you're feeling under the weather, try a piece of fruit.

I'm excited to have figured out a trick with picking watermelons here.  Farmer's don't wait for things to ripen here, but they also like to let things get large.  So a small watermelon is a much safer bet.  You can bet they ignored it for a while before picking it because it was considered too small.

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