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I don't like fruit with my food.

I was just reminded of this while responding to a post on the site.

Want to ruin fish for me? Top it with a mango salsa. Want to ruin salad? Put apples, strawberries, grapes, peaches, raisins, etc. in it. I don't want a sweet fruit compote next to or a sweet fruit glaze on my chicken. No thank you.

To me fruit is something that you have on the side maybe with breakfast or in a fruit salad or in a morning smoothie. I love fresh strawberries with whipped cream for dessert. And I love fruit pies for dessert. To me fruit is either on its own or in a pie. I DON'T want it mixed into my food. (and by fruit I mean what we typically think of as fruit not the actual biological definition of fruit)

Does anyone else have this issue? I don't know anyone who is bothered by it so I'm starting to think that it is very strange.

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  1. Different tastes here. My "protestant" chicken salad has red grapes and walnuts, my Veracruz sauce for fish and shrimp has golden raisins with capers and green olives, I stuff duck cavities with apple slices and apricots. I think some sweet/savory combos are delicious. Pineapple and chipotles en adobo with pork and chicken also.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      Totally different reaction here. Love raisins in my picadillo, apple in my stuffing, plum sauce, mango in my black bean corn salad. But i rarely eat fruit on its own or in desserts

      1. re: Goatjunky

        Speaking of picadillo, it's chiles en nogada season in Mexico now, with raisins and candied fruit pieces in the poblano relleno, adorned with pomegranate seeds and walnut sauce. Yum.

      2. re: Veggo

        Chicken salad with red grapes and walnuts sounds absolutely delicious.

      3. I have a friend like you. He loved steak and I was telling him about one I had at a Spanish restaurant that was served in a fig sauce. He became quite disturbed by the idea of it. We went and he absolutely would not try it. Sounds just like you.

        1. I'm one-quarter German and love German food, so that kind of sets me in the opposing camp. However, I don't care for sweet stuff in most of my food - Duck à la Orange is not how I want my duck cooked, and there'd be dill pickle relish instead of sweet in my coleslaw if it weren't for making Mrs. O happy. Apple in my braised kraut or in a cornbread dressing, yes, but a tart one, please. Sauerbraten and hasenpfeffer are sweet-and-sour, and that's okay, and a few Chinese dishes I've had combining meat and tangy sweet goo I can deal with in moderation. But if I get an empanada I do not want any raisins in it!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Will Owen

            I made picadillo empanadas two weeks ago and totally omitted the raisins. (and olives. hate them too.)

          2. Some of my favorite ways to cook meat involves fruit. I love baked chicken with quince jam, prunes stewed with pork, latkes with apple sauce and sour cream.
            I don't care much for sweet potatoes, so I get where you're coming from. There also has to be a balance- all of those dishes I love have heavy salt and sour components (i.e. soy and lemon in the chicken).
            I don't like it when people (yes my ils for ex) serve fruit alongside the meal. Unless it has a reason for being there, please don't serve it unless afterwards.

            1. That orange slice served along side my eggs makes me shiver. I'm with you.

              3 Replies
              1. re: emglow101

                I supposed orange juice with your breakfast is out, too?

              2. saw a t shirt..A smart man knows a tomato is a fruit a wise man knows not to put in a fruit salad."

                I thought..hummm wouldnt it depend on what you paired it with? I know that wasnt the point of the t- shirt... But.... I think fruit has its place amongst the savory.... Figs and lamb... apple and pork... tomatos and mango over fish...

                1 Reply
                1. re: girloftheworld

                  "I think fruit has its place amongst the savory."

                  Absolutely does. Just requires skill sometimes. I'll add prosciutto & honeydew and salmon & watermelon to your list.

                  I agree with the OP that there are a lot of bad dishes that can be put forth by those who lack taste and talent, but that's no reason to foreclose the possibility that fruit can enhance a savory dish. The pork examples are classics.* Chicken grilled with an Allfruit type jam and hot sauce is always a crowd pleaser. Hell, I once took some bluefish I caught and did a foil pouch dish on the grill incorporating onions, garlic, and local peaches - even the "I don't like bluefish" folks helped finish it all.

                  As to the botanical technicalities you raise . Let's not forget the olive, huh?

                  * Think Peter Brady http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wgDdg...

                2. I am okay with fruit in many savory dishes, but I don't want anything more than beurre blanc, maybe with capers, on fish. Definitely passing on mango salsa on the fish but might be ok putting it with tacos al pastor.

                  1. No issues with this, esp. salsas and fruit-based sauces (esp. for pork).

                    1. Well, I grew up not eating fruits mixed with regular meal, and I probably only get exposed to this after college years. I have to say that I actually do enjoy having fruits or fruity integration with the meat from time to time. It is not sometime I prefer all of time or even majority of the time, but it is nice once awhile.

                      1. I don't hate it, but it's not top of my list of things to eat.
                        For me, fruit (as you note, typical definition of fruit) is a sweet food. So I generally avoid it in savoury dishes. I won't go out of my way to not eat it, but I won't generally order it from a menu (unless other things in the dish are good enough to me to overcome the fruit flaw), and I don't cook such recipes at home.

                        (In the same way, I think of rice solely as a savoury food, so I avoid sweet rice preparations (except mochi!). This is a stronger aversion for me than the fruit thing.)

                        1. I can have madarin in those 'asian style' chicken salad offerings from chains. I also like duck a l'orange. And I've had a nice sour cherry sauce, also for duck. Perhaps for some reason I'm ok with some fruits on poultry.

                          However, put apples, pears, raisins, dried cranberries, grapes, peaches, mango, nectarine, guava, banana, pineapple etc near my savoury....bleh. Not my thing at all. Especially hot pineapple. Oh, and anytime someone says "I cooked morrocan style tagine" I have to check that it isn't full of apricots.

                          1. With the possible exception of apples'n'pork, I have to agree. If I order meat, I want to taste the meat - not whatever jam or fruit salsa someone wants to drown it in. I used to use grapes in my chicken salad until I realized they spoiled first and spoiled quickly - now my salad is grape-free and lasts two days longer.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: NonnieMuss

                              I agree as well. If there is a fruit in a dish in a restaurant I'm usually not ordering it and if I'm served a dish with fruit I usually pick around it. I don't enjoy most sweet things in general and so don't particularly like it in savory dishes either, always seems out of place.

                            2. Not limited to fruit, I don't want sugar on my meat. Not even BBQ sauce, and I love BBQ. Italians, or maybe Tuscans, figured this out during the Renaissance: There are salted dishes and sweet dishes, don't mix them up. Seems as if we have to keep reinventing the wheel.

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: mwhitmore

                                Italians love mostarda, sweet fruit with mustard essence. It is definitely sweet and spicy...

                                1. re: mwhitmore

                                  The Splendid Table has a recipe for 'Tagliatelle with Caramelized Oranges and Almonds', "At 16th c banquets this pasta accompanied poultry and meats" p 188

                                  From what I've read, sweets were freely used with 'main course' dishes in medieval days. Modern European cuisine generally relegates sweet to desserts - the end of the meal. But I don't know when and where this distinction developed.

                                  My gut sense is that the separation is strongest in the USA, England, and France, weaker in Scandinavia and Spain (and Latin America). Probably more sweet/savory dishes in Sicily than Tuscany.

                                  As for timing, I suspect it had something to do with the drop in price of sugar with the development of sugar plantations in the West Indies. When sugar, and other sweeteners, where expensive and hard to get, they were used as seasonings. When sugar became cheaper, it became a staple, and was relegated to special uses, like jam for breakfast, pastries for 'tea', and desserts at the end of meals.

                                  There was also a trend in codified French cuisine to focus on seasoning meats with herbs and rich sauces, and downplay the sweet and spicy.

                                  I would like to read an academic quality study on such trends.

                                  1. re: paulj

                                    I read somewhere that the wealthy people had rotten teeth because of the sugar and tea they were able to eat....but poor people actually had white and strong teeth because they ate raw unfloavored and unsauced vegtables...

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      Not in France -- pork or turkey is frequently braised with plums or apricots, and the influence of North African cultures means adds raisins and almonds to the mix on a regular basis. Pintade (guinea hen) are frequently stuffed with prunes or apricots before roasting.

                                      Not academic, just an observation after several years of living there.

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        I read one once, which is where I got the info, and now I can't remember what it was! It traced the transition from Medieval food for the rich, which was heavily spiced (remember the Spice Routes from the East, spices were very expensive) and often sweetened (sugar was super expensive and sold by pharmacists by the ounce), to the modern/post-Medieval practice of separating salted dished ("sallet") from sweet dishes. This style of food moved to France when Catherine di Medici married the French king and brought her Italian chefs to Paris to teach the French how to cook.

                                      2. re: mwhitmore

                                        Prosciutto e Melone
                                        Insalata di Finocchi ed Agrumi
                                        Risotto all'Arancia

                                        1. re: paulj

                                          I was recently served canteloupe wrapped in proscuitto at a wedding. I tried it and, well, it was awful. What is the point of wrapping a salty cured meat around a sweet melon slice? The flavors just don't go together for me.

                                          1. re: Njchicaa

                                            this is a classic appetizer -- it's been served around the world for years.

                                            It's one of my all-time favorites. Just heard this week of wrapping cured salmon around watermelon. May have to give that one a shot.

                                            1. re: Njchicaa

                                              When it appears on countless menus and in countless cookbooks then there's likely a point. But there are countless dishes on menus and in cookbooks that I also don't care for. So it's tough to dismiss a dish in its entirety just because it doesn't appeal to you.

                                        2. One of the best meals of my life involved fruit.

                                          It was in a bistro, Le Florimond in Paris and my dish was lobster with fresh cantaloupe beurre blanc that was to this day sublime.
                                          DH had the Filet medallions in a fresh fig port sauce that he still says was one his best meals..besides my cooking!

                                          1. Nice and versatile desert. In food, whether its per the recipe or as a garnishment, no thanks.

                                            1. Generally speaking, I have this issue but I do have plenty of exceptions. I like dried cranberries in cold chicken salad or diced apples in stuffing or red cabbage. Typically I am not a fan of hot fruit - I enjoy pie, it's not my favorite, but I enjoy it as long as it's cold. The only fruit dessert I prefer warm is apple cobbler.

                                              Basically, it would seem that I really only tolerate hot/warm apples! I can handle raisins in oatmeal cookies, as long as they're cold and not plump and warm.

                                              Hey, we all have our issues! Ha!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: tiffeecanoe

                                                I could have written your post! Especially cooked berries for me, a hot strawberry is just...ugh.

                                                I make fruit sauces (for desserts) using berries, but can't eat them until they have cooled down.

                                                1. re: Violatp

                                                  Oh hot berries. Blech! Yes, a homemade strawberry, blueberry sauce, etc. for ice cream or such IS delicious... when COLD!

                                                  My sister is the same way. We'll both shudder over pie ala mode - mmmm, melted ice cream and hot pie. No thanks.

                                                2. re: tiffeecanoe

                                                  Ooh, you read my mind. I don't like fruit with savory dishes but I kept thinking that there was some warm fruit I do enjoy and it's apples! Any other warm fruits are a no-go for me usually.

                                                  1. Can I just add that I don't want turkey sausage links along side my waffle and berries.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: snax

                                                      I'm trying to warm to the idea of cooking fruit in savory preparations, but it's foreign to me. Any meat, chicken, seafood or fish coming with a berry-based sauce or compote is a turn-off to me. I don't typically want a fruity salad dressing or raw fruits in my salad. I've only recently softened toward pineapple, ham and red onions on a pizza. I don't love it, but it's tolerable.

                                                      I have recently made braised red cabbage that had apples in it. It wasn't bad, but I really wished it were more tangy and less sweet. I made Yotam Ottolenghi's Chicken with Clementines and Arak and it was very good, but I played with ingredient proportions to keep it from becoming cloyingly sweet. I made a watermelon and feta salad that was pretty good, but didn't love my dinner salad that had greens, chicken and nectarines. I recently made a baba ganoush variation that had pomegranate molasses in it. It was tasty, but I wished the sweetness wasn't there.

                                                      I love fruit, but I just don't love fresh (cooked or raw) fruit in my savory foods, unless it's citrus. Dried fruits are acceptable to me, but only in very small quantities. A Moroccan lamb shank dish with a raisin sauce was a lesson in "less is more". The raisins overpowered an otherwise exotic dish, making it candy-sweet.

                                                      1. re: snax

                                                        Ugh, yes. To me that's totally different than fruity glazes on meat or raisins or apples in a salad; I've never understood the Belgian waffle with (ugh, sugared) whipped cream alongside sausage.

                                                        Now candied bacon, they could put that on the waffle :D

                                                      2. No problem with fruit. You know what I hate? Purple onions. They should be outlawed.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                          Too many purple onion inlaws here. You are outgunned!

                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                            I know. They're everywhere and I can't get away from them. Vile, wretched things!

                                                        2. there has to be a good balance between sweet and savory. I made a delicious peach salsa with lots of onion and jalapeño, I do not like something which is only sweet, it has to have balance.

                                                          1. Not strange at all - it's traditional in a number of cuisines.

                                                            For example jackfruit curry is traditionally found in Thai, Indonesian and certain regional Indian cuisines. It is also thought of as a fruit in the traditional sense e.g. as part of halo halo, a dessert (Filipinos call it nang ka); or eaten straight.

                                                            Mango curry is another common one, and certain south indian dishes are flavoured with dried mango powder.

                                                            Singapore/Malaysian rojak is a salad under a thick prawn sauce with pineapples, cucumber, jicama, bean sprouts, fried bean curd/tofu (aka taopok), and Chinese crullers/youtiao.

                                                            Pomegranate is the base for fesenjoon in Persian cooking -- chicken (or game birds) in a pomegranate sauce with an earthy blend of spices.

                                                            Not confined to Asia - prosciutto with melon is classic Italian.

                                                            1. I don't think it's strange at all. Just a matter of preference, like many things. In general, I don't care for sweet & savory together in the same dish/item, although I don't mind them separately at the same sitting, & it sounds like my dislike is milder than yours.

                                                              For example, I do not like sweet salad dressings at all (raspberry vinaigrette comes to mind, at least the ones I've ever had).

                                                              There are exceptions, though. My husband makes ahi with clementine salsa & chicken with a Granny Smith apple salsa that I really like, & I've had fish with mango salsa that I've enjoyed.

                                                              But in general, no, I don't care for sweet & savory mixed together. I've learned not to order them if I can help it, because it's hard to know in advance which ones will end up being an exception & which ones will follow the general rule.

                                                              I don't think your preference is strange at all.

                                                              1. I started reading your post, and thought this is me. I don't like fruit added to my food. I detest a salad that is loaded with grapes, raisins, cranberries, apples, etc.
                                                                I don't like cherry or orange sauce on my duck.............
                                                                AND THEN IT DAWNED ON ME...there are EXCEPTIONS.
                                                                I've been planning my menu for Rosh HaShanah (Jewish New Year) which is just weeks away. It would not be complete without a 'gantzeh Tzimmes' A large roasting pan filled with a brisket, pineapple, carrots, sweet potatoes, prunes, dried apricots, cherries, dates, raisins, craisins, honey, cinnamon, dried apple slices, dumplings, baked covered, slowly for about 5 hours...
                                                                A really sweet dish to welcome a sweet new year.

                                                                and I do like applesauce on top of my potato pancakes served with pot roast/brisket.

                                                                But they are really the only 2 exceptions I can think of if I don't count using lemon in dishes such as Veal or chicken picatta (fruit, but not sweet).

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                                  Can you please share the brisket recipe?

                                                                  1. re: fara

                                                                    Not an exact recipe, as it varies with whats in the pantry and measurements can be adjusted to taste and availability and budget:

                                                                    Gantzeh Tzimmes with Gedempte Fleisch
                                                                    Braised Brisket with sweet fruits and carrots

                                                                    5-7 pound whole brisket (do not use first cut only, too dry)
                                                                    2-14/15 ounce cans crushed pineapple in juice
                                                                    5lbs sweet potatoes peeled and cut in 2-3 inch cubes (may sub canned yams in syrup, but cut back on honey)
                                                                    3lbs carrots, peeled and cut in 2-3 inch pieces
                                                                    1lb dried apricots
                                                                    ½ pound dark raisins
                                                                    1 cello bag dried apples
                                                                    1 cello bag diced dried mixed fruit-mango, papaya, banana, etc.
                                                                    12 ounce jar honey
                                                                    ¼ of a 99cent generic powdered cinnamon shaker
                                                                    3 cans Mandarin orange segments in light syrup
                                                                    12 ounces Orange Juice (optional)
                                                                    Get your largest roasting pan or a full size deep disposable aluminum pan and place on a sheet pan with lip that will fit in your oven.
                                                                    Layer the bottom with about 1/3 of the sweet potatoes and carrots.
                                                                    Fully trim your brisket. You can separate the flap from the first cut if you wish.
                                                                    Place brisket on top of carrot/sweet potato layer and surround with the dried fruit. You can tuck some under the flap.
                                                                    Place remaining carrots and sweet potatoes on top and sides. Cover with the canned fruit and their juices/syrup.
                                                                    Sprinkle the entire mixture heavily with the powdered cinnamon and cover with the honey.
                                                                    Seal the pan tightly with 2 layers of HEAVY DUTY aluminum foil. Don’t use the cheap stuff.
                                                                    Place in preheated 325 degree oven for about 5 hours.
                                                                    Allow to cool enough to handle, Remove brisket and slice.
                                                                    This is best served at least one day after cooking.

                                                                    Drain enough of the liquid to de-fat and use for gravy.
                                                                    Heat and serve the vegetables and fruit in the remaining liquid as the side dish, and serve along with a cold side such as cole slaw (my family always served cole slaw with brisket).

                                                                    I generally like to make this with dumplings in the pan. I either make my standard matzo balls and instead of boiling the raw balls, I place them low in the pan and they absorb the juices and honey and bake wonderfully. You can also use a biscuit recipe or wide noodle recipe and let them cook in the pan.

                                                                2. Don't like COOKED FRUIT with anything that's not dessert.

                                                                  Something about the change in texture... pineapple in rice gets mushy. Same with Lemon Chicken; the citrus gets a new and not-pleasant-to-me texture.

                                                                  Don't like fruit in salads, and usually don't like nuts, either.

                                                                  1. I've generally been this way too. If I wanted the taste of apples, raisins, mangoes- something sweet- I wouldn't have ordered a main dish. That's one reason I can't stand US Chinese food, it's too dang sweet. Peppers, cumins and salts are heartily welcome on my entree's plate, but unless I'm in a breakfast for dinner mood (which does happen enough), ye old mangosteen will have to wait until later.

                                                                    Unusual exception: beets and bleu cheese. Granted, beets are vegetables, but there's something good that has somehow came out of that combo.


                                                                    1. Nope, I love fruit with savory foods. It shouldn't overwhelm; it should compliment.

                                                                      Apples with pork, dried apricots with a Moroccan beef stew, dried cranberries in chicken salad or on green salads, a homemade plum ketchup with meatloaf....it's all great to me!

                                                                      1. I initially thought this was me too, but the more I think about it the more I find a lot of exceptions.

                                                                        I love sweet and savory combos. I don't like strawberries or mango with savory foods. I am very picky about which preparations I'll tolerate lemon and orange with them. But I do like raisins, dates, dried apricots, prunes, pineapples and cranberries with them (especially in Moroccan cuisine/stews/cooked) in quite a few instances. Do not like fruit salsas (instantly turns me away from ordering whatever it may be). So yeah, apparently I like a lot more fruit with my savory goods than I realized. I think my initial reaction was because the minute someone suggests a fruit salsa or chutney or fresh fruit on a salad I am entirely disinterested, but there are a lot more fruit applications than that.

                                                                        1. My husband won't do meat with fruit - pork roast stuffed with apples, chicken with prunes, etc. - he won't eat it. Even ham with pineapple slices. I think he's odd, but he likes what he likes.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                            You helped me to remember maybe my ONE exception. Ham cooked (heated) with pineapple juice and a mustard-pineapple glaze. I make that every December for the Annual Free Ham Holiday Dinner for our friends.

                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                haha not much! but thanks for the faith.

                                                                                even as a child, I didn't want maple syrup or strawberries and whipped cream on my pancakes/waffles/french toast. Just plain butter please.

                                                                                Maybe I'm strange but it works for me.

                                                                                1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                  I don't eat syrup, fruit, jeam, jelly on pancakes, waffles or French Toast, either. Only butter or margarine.

                                                                                  AND NO POWDERED SUGAR.....if a restaurant kitchen sends it out that way, it will be sent back! I warn the server in advance about the powdered sugar, if I hesitate, I just utter one word: Diabetes. I never claim to have it, but it works.

                                                                          2. TOTALLY agree with you. Fruit belongs by itself. Don't mix it with my salad. Don't mix it with my main. And please don't mix it into my delicious chocolate dessert! However, serve it separately, it's perfect!

                                                                            (I guess the only exception to this rule is with chocolate fondue...)

                                                                            1. my husband is with you.
                                                                              personally, i grew up in the san joaquin valley, so love all kinds of fruit with savory things...doesn't wine count???

                                                                              1. No fruit with my cottage cheese please.