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somewhat injured the flavor. Moreover, as we now realize, the exposure to flies is an added risk.
The modern evaporated apples, sliced and dried quickly, serve, when properly cooked, in almost all ways as well as the fresh fruit. Sometimes bleaching by sulphite is resorted to. If the first short soaking water is thrown away after the fruit is washed, nearly all danger from the sulphite is averted.
Nearly the same statements apply to peaches and apricots and plums. They are not so easily transported, being of softer flesh. Their outer skin is fuzzy, or downy, and hence holds more micro-organisms, and it cracks more easily; on the other hand, they dry rather more readily. The dried plum is known to us as the prune.
The peach is short-lived, and at best remains in good condition but a comparatively short time, whereas the apple may be kept for months, or even for a couple of years, in such condition that the cells are apparently able to perform their natural functions, though to a somewhat diminished extent.
Grapes. About 1,500,000,000 pounds of grapes were raised in America in 1905, and of these probably two-thirds went to the consumer in four and eight-pound baskets.
The banana tree (Musa sapientum L.), although extensively cultivated in tropical America, is a native of the Old World. It is said to produce more food to the acre than any other plant. Whether eaten as a vegetable, cooked or raw as a fruit, it is a valuable addition to the table. Banana flour is beginning to be found on the market and should come into favor.
The pineapple (Ananassa sativa Schult.), a tropical American fruit, is somewhat abundant in our markets. The pulp appears to contain an enzyme which is a powerful digester of proteids, and if separated from the irritating outer layer may come into use as an aid to weak digestion as well as a pleasant fruit.
The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.), one of the most ancient trees, has a fruit which furnishes the desert Arabs and other wanderers with their chief food.
A more or less well-founded suspicion that the dried packages have not been handled in a cleanly fashion is doubtless the occasion of the prejudice against this most nutritious and tasty fruit.
That we shall not always be dependent on this supply has been provided by the government.
“The transfer from the great deserts of the whole world to those of the new of the unique date industry is an accomplishment of which the government may well be proud. . . . Though the attention of the public was first attracted to the possibilities of growing the foreign date palm in this country through chance seedlings that bore fruit and through an early introduction of the pomologist of this department, it was the exploration trip of Mr. Swingle to the Desert of Sahara in 1899 that first proved the feasibility of starting commercial date plantations in Arizona and California. From the time when the first large shipment of palm suckers reached the Southwest until the present, the Office of Plant Introduction has had an explorer in some one or other of the date regions of the Old World, gathering plants for the government plantations. Today the list of introduced varieties numbers over 170, and more than 3,000 palms, large and small, have been imported and planted out. The best sorts from Egyptian oases, selected kinds from the valley of the Tigris, the famous dates of Southern Tunis, and even the varieties from uncivilized Beluchistan have been gathered into what may proudly be called the best collection of date varieties in the world. This search through the deserts of the world has revealed the fact that the dates of our markets are only one or two kinds of the host of sorts known to the true date eaters, the Arabs, and that those we prize as delicacies are by no means looked upon by the desert dwellers as their best. The search has brought to light, as well, the hard, dry date, which Americans do not know at all, and which they will learn to appreciate as a food, just as the Arab has. Already Algerian and Egyptian imported palms have borne and ripened fruit.” 1
DRIED FRUITS Dried or evaporated apple, peach, and apricot may be had in various qualities for a low price per pound. If the product on the market was originally good, the “evaporation” does not appreciably injure it.
It is only when inferior and green fruit has been dried that one fails to receive the worth of one's money. The much derided prune is being so extensively cultivated in California that it may come into the favor it deserves. Perhaps if it were known by its true name of plum it would gain in favor.
1 Fairchild : National Geographic Magazine, June, 1906.
Raisins, figs, etc, have a nutritive value nearly equal to that of bread, containing 40 to 50 per cent of sugar. Raisins have proved an excellent food for Arctic expeditions, sustaining the animal heat under extreme conditions.
CANNED FOODS AND JELLIES THE habit of apartment house and hotel life makes
1 it impossible to do much home preserving, and the difficulty of doing on the farm all that is needed in the few short weeks of fruiting time makes it inevitable that the factory must turn out most of the product. It is true that much more may be done on the farm and in the country than is now customary in the way of saving fruits and vegetables when they are in their prime. The United States Department of Agriculture is preparing bulletins on preserving vegetables as companions to Miss Parloa's on “Home Canning of Fruits.”
It is possible to supply the table of a dweller in a large city with fresh hothouse grown string beans, peas, beets, tomatoes, etc, every day in the year, but to the country dweller and to the person of limited means there is the possibility of quite as good a flavor from canned goods at a much smaller price. Because the forced products never have the same fully developed flavor that the same products have in their proper season, many city people have forgotten, if they ever knew, the real flavor of fresh vegetables. The canned vegetables, when of the good quality that are put up in their prime, retain more of the true flavors than do those that are forced. They are more difficult to