Saturday, 23 February 2013

Why dried fruit is great!

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I know what you're probably thinking after reading that title: What an extremely random subject about which to blog! (I hope you're thinking it with the use of that relative pronoun too.) And you'd be right to think that. It is random. Allow me to explain...

The theme for the latest issue of our student paper (well, the less serious section anyway) was "Current". One of our editors decided to twist that and make the ingenious yet tenuous leap from "Current" to "Currants", and behold, we presented the case for and against dried fruit. Yes, it's a very serious and heated debate. Yours truly was arguing the case FOR (obviously), hence cet article:

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Raisins, sultanas, mini wrinkly brains... Whatever you may think of currants, these are not a food to be dismissed. Sure, they're easily pushed aside in favour of their big, plump, ripe (steady on), fresh fruit counterparts, but currants wield a surprising amount of power for their size.

Oh yes, when it comes to food, currants can be more divisive than Marmite - and to be honest with you, I know some people who actually neither love not hate Marmite. There, I said it.

But throw some currants into a dish, and now you've got a talking point. Take scones for example (the pronunciation of which is a whole other article): should they be with currants, or without? The same for hot-cross buns, cakes and tea breads... I'm going to say something that may be controversial (because I'm not afraid of stirring things up, both literally in the kitchen with currants and metaphorically), but I consider all these food incomplete without a hefty dose of dry fruits nestling in there.

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And then even more powerful: currants in savoury food. Yes, I went there. WHAT ARE YOU SAYING, CRAZY LADY? I hear you thinking. I'm talking about throwing sultanas into a korma, or dried apricots in a tagine. We've all been to dinners where dishes such as these feature, and there's always one person who leaves a small pile of dried fruit at the side of their plate after eating, picked out from the main meal and left at the end, neglected, like a sad mound of rabbit droppings. (I realise that comparison was not a great idea in my mission to convert non-currant lovers, but hey.)

And here's another reason why dried fruit is awesome: it's so portable! Take an apricot or bunch of grapes out in your handbag for the day (well done on choosing a healthy snack), and you’re bound to end up with a squidgy slimy mess everywhere. That's just sad. But a box of raisins on the other hand? Space-saving and clean. You know it makes sense.

Still not converted? Try these delightful apple, raisin, pecan and cinnamon cupcakes (or leave them un-iced as muffins.)

Do you agree with me? If not, you may relate more to this hilarious article arguing the other side of this debate.

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