CARE AND SERVING OF FRUIT. GRAPEFRUIT — ORANGES — MELONS — STRAWBERRIES — CURRANTS — BANANAS — APPLES — PINEAPPLES
ALL fruit has been exposed to dust, dirt, or handling
and should be made clean when brought from
market or garden. Pears and apples, if cleansed
It is often advisable to buy fruit in large quantities oranges and grapefruit by the box or half box, apples by the barrel, bananas by the bunch, etc. They should be kept in a cool place, the drier the better and looked over often, using those first which ripen first. Pears picked green and put into a dark place for ripening do not change all at once, but some before others, and therefore need frequent inspection.
There is a difference of opinion as to whether or not fruit should be chilled before serving. Some epicures think that the flavor of fruit is spoiled by chilling; but, in the summer time especially, fruit that is cool is refreshing to most persons.
Much taste may be shown in arranging fruits for
the table. There is a large variety in size, shape,
and design of china, silver, glass, and basket eceptacles
When possible, leaves from the tree or bush upon
which the fruit was grown, should be put on the dish
beneath the fruit. Grape leaves under small lusters
When using pumpkins made into bowl or basket
shape for the fruit dish, as is often done for Thanksgiving
dinners, the vine fills in the spaces gracefully
The most popular fruit and the one longest in
season is the grapefruit. For breakfast it is served
in a simple manner; but for luncheon or dinner it
may be combined with cordials or suitable garnishes
and be made as elaborate as desired. In preparing
grapefruit for breakfast, wipe with cheese-cloth
wrung out of cold water, cut in halves crosswise (not
from end to end) and with a sharp, thin-bladed
knife remove seeds, then cut around pulp within each
Grapefruit is served at luncheon or dinner either as a first or as a dessert course. When grapefruit is to be served in either of these ways, prepare as already mentioned or carefully remove the sections and serve in glasses which come for the purpose, or in sherbet or champagne glasses. Various cordials are used for flavoring, and some garnishes answer the purpose of flavoring as well. The Maraschino cherry is the most common of these; another is Bar le Due currants, either red or white, a spoonful placed over the fruit or in the center cavity ; cubes of apple-mint jelly with grapefruit make a combination pleasing to eye and palate ; candied fruits may be chopped fine and sprinkled over grapefruit ; whipped cream, sweetened and flavored with Maraschino cordial, may be put on the fruit with pastry bag and tube, and the cream garnished with candied violets or cherries. When serving the grapefruit in its skin, select bright yellow, smooth fruit.
Halves of grapefruit are arranged for individual service on small plates, usually overed with a lace paper doily. Lycopodium moss makes an attractive mat and garnish for the fruit, as it gives a soft, light effect and gracefully fills in the space between fruit and plate.
The two most popular ways of preparing oranges are :
1st. Wipe and serve fruit whole. Each person
eats in the way he chooses, either cutting in halves
crosswise and using the orange-spoon, or peeling and
2nd. Wipe fruit, cut in halves crosswise, and extract juice, using a glass lemon squeezer. Serve in small glasses two-thirds full. The glasses filled with the juice are set on small doily-covered plates, placed in position on the service plate before breakfast is announced.
Other suggestions are given which, though not practical for the breakfast table, are helpful in planning for tray service.
ist. Wipe orange, peel, remove fruit in sections,
and free from skin and seeds, preserving shape.
Arrange on small plate around a mound of confectioner's
2nd. Select and wipe large, firm oranges. Cut lengthwise through the skin of fruit in eight equal sections, from blossom end to within one inch of stem end. Then peel back, tucking each point under to represent petals. Leave the orange pulp whole, or partly separate sections.
3rd. Wipe and remove the peel from an orange in such a way that an inch-wide band remains around the center at equal distance from stem and blossom ends. Cut the band across once, separate sections, but do not remove them from the band, and arrange around a mound of sugar.
4th. Wipe and prepare orange in the same way as
with band and separated sections ; cut the band
once and turn so as to leave the sections outside ;
Melons are served either for the "beginning" or the "finish" of a meal. Small melons should be washed, wiped, chilled, and cut in halves, from stem to blossom end. Remove seeds and objectionable stringy portion, and serve to each person half a melon placed on a small plate (with or without paper doily). Pass sugar on a tray, and salt and pepper also, if they are not on the table between every two covers. The flavor is preserved if the melon is perfectly chilled, but is lessened or destroyed if pieces of ice are served in it.
Watermelon should be very cold and may be served in a variety of ways. If a melon is served with the rind on, wipe, cut in halves, and trim the rounded end of each half so that it may stand flat and firm on the serving dish. Then the host may remove the red portion with a large spoon, in egg- shaped pieces, and place on individual plates. The melon may be cut in the pantry in slices three inches thick ; then the rind cut off in circular pieces, and the edible center (rounds of pink pulp) removed to a chop plate or silver platter of ample size. To serve, cut in wedge-shaped pieces. Another way is to remove the pink center of the melon in the pantry with a spoon, in egg-shaped pieces, and arrange on a large glass or silver dish, with cracked ice. A few green leaves or a few sprigs of mint may add to the attractiveness of the dish.
Choice, large strawberries should be served with
the hulls on, after gently cleaning the fruit with a
soft brush (butter brush). They may be piled in
pyramid shape on a dish, and sugar passed with them,
or they may be served on individual plates around
a small mound of sugar. The mound is made by
pressing confectioner's sugar into a cone-shaped
utensil of the size desired and then unmolding it in
the center of the plate. A pastry tube is of the right
size and shape ; sometimes a cordial glass and again
forms of stiff paper may be used. If the sugar has
been pressed firmly into the cone, and the lower
edge of the mold tapped on the plate directly where
it is to be placed, it will hold its shape, unless handled
or shaken roughly. Small galax leaves, with stems removed, fitted into one another and placed on the plate
to form a mat, make a good color background
for this fruit, if one cannot obtain strawberry leaves.Miniature market baskets, obtained at a caterer's
Currants on the stems should be washed, drained, and arranged for serving on a dish, preferably glass, and sugar passed. Large currants should be removed from stem and washed, then put into a dish with granulated sugar, and shaken until the currants are covered with the sugar. This should be done only just before serving. White and red currants served together make a pleasing effect. Small fruits like currants, blackberries, and raspberries may be served with a little crushed ice ; this is much appreciated on a hot day, and these fruits, being highly flavored, bear the slight dilution the melting ice gives.Cherries may be served on the stems, or stemmed and pitted and served in individual dishes with sugar and crushed ice.
Grape scissors are essential when bunches of grapes are served.
Whole bananas with skins left on are served at
breakfast, or they may be peeled, sliced, and sugar
and cream passed, or peeled, sliced, and sprinkled
Apples are not often served peeled, as the pulp
discolors so quickly ; but if prepared nicely, they
make a pleasing finish to a heavy dinner. Select
large, perfect apples and keep them in the ice-box
for several hours before serving. Immediately before
they are to be used, peel, and cut in slices an eighth
of an inch thick from stem to blossom end, beginning
at the outside and working toward the core.
Arrange the slices on a flat glass dish with serving
Pineapple, when prepared in the simplest way, is
shredded, sprinkled with sugar, and served from a
large dish. To shred pineapple, pare and cut out
1st. Cut a slice from both top and bottom of a large pineapple, then cut off the rind in four pieces, leaving a pyramid. Cut the pyramid in half-inch slices, crosswise, leaving in original shape. Serve with sugar.
2nd. Pare and remove eyes from pineapples. Then cut in half-inch slices crosswise. Remove hard centers, using a small biscuit cutter, thus leaving fruit in rings. Arrange rings, overlapping each other, in a round serving dish, and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Leaves from the top of the pineapple make an attractive garnish. One may be slipped through each ring with pleasing effect.
3rd. Pare and remove eyes from pineapple. Then
cut crosswise in slices one inch thick. Cut these
slices in halves and arrange them on a serving dish,
4th. Clean thoroughly a selected pineapple. Each eye has a distinct outline, about an inch in diameter. With a sharp, pointed knife, cut on this outline toward the center of the fruit, and with a fork detach and remove the cone-shaped pieces. Arrange pieces on individual plates around mounds of sugar. They may be eaten easily with the fingers, as the outside skin remains on.