The Grown-Up Table
Fruits: A Love Story
Chef Asha Gomez grew up in India surrounded by ripe, juicy fruits of almost every kind.
My love affair with fruits started when I was just a kid, as early as five years of age I remember summers in Kerala, India fondly during mango season. My grand aunt’s home had a room with blue cobalt doors dedicated to ripen fruits, cement floors covered with hay, baskets of fruits like mangoes, soursop, big jackfruits, and whole banana stalks would hang from the ceiling in that room. I’d run to her home from school and head straight to thoses cobalt doors to savor mangoes in the summertime, those are some of my fondest memories as a child. I don’t recall eating much candy as a kid, I’d choose a fruit anyday over candy. To this day, the most exciting part of my market trips revolve around the fruit section. I’m so fortunate to live in Atlanta that houses markets like the Buford Highway Market that bring in fruits from all over the world. I’ll never pass up an opportunity to try a fruit I’ve never seen or eaten before. Markets are where we can be adventurous with the choices we make on what we can bring home with us. A whole world of wonder awaits us.
When my son was young, I made a ritual of going apple picking in the fall, strawberry, and peach picking in the summers and now those are some of Ethan's favorite memories of being a kid. He’s sixteen now and still looks forward to our trips to the orchards and I know someday he will give those same experiences that revolve around fruits to his children. Fruits are magical that way, they leave lasting impressions and our taste buds always remember their deliciousness. These days I’m lovingly called the fruit lady by all the little ones in my life. You can bet they are all eating and discovering new fruits when they come over to visit Aunty Ash.