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Exotic Fruits: Diplomats of Food Culture?

What, how, when and where to eat - every Country has his own food culture. But what about fruits? Are they the "diplomats" of food culture? An article about exotic fruits...

Culture is - despite the fact that it is is part of every country - mostly considered as something completely foreign. People recognize "culture" only, if they are not longer part of "their" own. And still, it is very easy to connect with other habits - just visit a restaurant which offers Italian, Indian, German, French, Thai, African, Polish etc. food. The easiest way to get in touch with another culture is namely actually through food.

With food, it’s something you’re engaging in hopefully three times a day, and so there are more opportunities to connect to memory and family and place. It’s the hardest to give up. - Jennifer Berg,  director of graduate food studies at New York University

Food culture is a combination of what, how, when and where people from different countries like to eat. Eating in terms of "culture" means eating not only seen in a scientific/biological way, but also in terms of spending time together, exploring new sort of dishes etc. A visit in a McDonalds restaurant is most of the time not viewed as a part of "culture", whereas homemade food or a visit in a "good" restaurant are part of whats considered to be "food culture". This means, only processed food, full dishes and meals are considered to be part of a "food culture"? So what about pure fruits? Here are several reasons, why we think that "beautiful" fruits are the diplomtas of food culture.

Exotic Fruits In Every Culture

fruits in west

CC Robert S. Donovan flickr

Bananas, Mangos and Pine Apples in Europe? Tropical Fruits are available for almost everyone. Nobody is asking: Is this banana from Thailand, India, South America? Are the apples available in the Thai supermarket from China or Germany? Only some very food-concious customers check the country of origin. Asian fruits, which became more and more popular in western countries and weren't easily available a few years ago, are now purchasable in every supermarket. Even a Pakistani mango can be bought in specific asian markets in industrial countries. Thats why people don't associate fruits with food culture. They seem to become more and more independent from their country of origin. Thats the first reason why we call them "beautiful fruits".

beautiful fruits

CC ILO in Asia and the Pacific flickr

Fruits For A Glowing Skin

Everybody in the world wants to have a fresh and glowing skin. And yes, associated foods good for skin are always fruits. Nobody can deny that. Vitamin c in pine apples, strawberries, kiwis, orange...vitamin b6 in bananas...vitamin a in melons...vitamin k in grapes: fruits are considered to be the best foods for healthy skin - universally. They are part of really every diet plan, but still taste like sweets. That's the second reason why we call them "beautiful fruits".

Fruits and Erotic

Some people have an emotional bonding to food, because it connects them with their hometown, country, family and childhood memories. With Fruits, who we concluded are "diplomatic", because they are not served as specific dishes (okay, we dont assume that apple puree is a dish), people cannot have an emotional bonding? That is in fact not true. People all over the world connect strawberries, grapes, cherries and other berries with...erotic. Maybe the only food, which is universally connected with it. If that isn't an "emotional" bonding, then we also don't know. Just take a look at this advertisement, which got released on a site called YouPomm:

The Smoothie: Fruits 24 Hours

mango smoothies

CC tefl Search flickr

A smoothie is a beverage of different fruits and vegetables blended together to a thick drink. The internet is full of smoothie recipes for mango or strawberry smoothies or in general: weight loss smoothies. Even though some smoothies contain a lot of sugar - especially the ones with less vegetables, they are a considered to be a healthy 24/hour vitamin boost. The background of smoothies is to eat enough fruits and vegetables throughout the day without feeling too much bloated by their consistency. In terms of "beautiful fruits", the beauty of their looks (just think about dragon fruits) obviously gets destroyed, but it also shows, that fruit marketing really works. People who never ate a lot of fruits in the past, may have their favourite strawberry smoothie with little bit vanilla flavour.

Chiquita Banana: Do

chiquita banana ad

CC Classic Film flickr

Fruits Need Advertisement?

If something is "diplomatic", does it need advertisement? If a banana is a banana and there are no better ones, why are people buying CQB, when it cost more but looks and probably also tastes the same? Is it the Chiquita Banana costume, the chiquita banana woman is wearing on every sticker? Fact is that fruit advertisement is totally against the philosophy of "diplomatic" fruits. Chiquita Brands International is connected with many negative headlines about employees treatment or paying protection money. So why do some people prefer a branded fruit rather than a "non-branded" fruit? Still, it is an exception and most people choose fruits due to their fresh look. And thats the last reason, why we think that fruits are just so beautiful not only in their looks - just a picure of fresh fruits gives people a feeling of colourful healthiness.

Fruits are one of the very rare foods people don't choose because of a brand, their packaging, their country of origin. They don't buy them, because fruits are "exotic" or they want to get in touch with another "food culture". People buy them, because basically they just want to eat fruits.

Featured Image CC Rob Bertholf flickr
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