Baby Fruit

The other day Wil and I went to our local supermarket, Consum, to see what different apple varieties are currently available. We both went for different reasons. Wil went to look at the quality, names, size and the colour. I went to look at the sugar content. Consum has this lovely informative panel where they display the fruit’s nutritional information above the fruit. I was looking for a sweet apple that I can use in my no added sugar and wheat-free apple crumble.

I tried baking it for the first time, last weekend, using almond flour and Granny Smith apples. It turned out pretty well, however, the tartness of the Granny Smith was a bit overpowering. So, I am looking for a slightly sweeter apple variety…I still haven’t decided which variety to use. Maybe Fuji? Round two this weekend, can’t wait!

Whilst strolling through the fruit and vegetable section we saw these beautiful small pears. Being a mother of two small girls I have grown an attraction toward small fruit. This attraction has been rubbing off on Wil over the past few years. As a matter of fact he spotted them first. High five Fruitie Dad!!!

Does this petite pear have a name?

This baby pear variety is called Ercolini and is mainly available in Spain with some quantities being exported to Italy.  The pears have a diameter of 51-58 millimeters. They can be bought pre-packed or loose. Personally, I prefer to buy them loose so that I can pick the smaller ones. They taste delicious, have a typical grainy texture with an old-fashioned pear flavour that won’t disappoint.

They are small enough for our four-year old daughter to hold comfortably in her hand and they are the perfect size for a snack. They only have a few pips and the core is quite soft. They are sweet and not too juicy, so it’s a very nifty no-mess no-fuss little fruit. Ercolini pears are produced in Jumilla, Spain. Want to read some more about this pretty petite pear? Here you go.

Baby pears Ercolini from Jumilla, Spain
Baby pears Ercolini from Jumilla, Spain.

Why do I think there is a market for small fruit?

The fruit size that we have become accustomed to are just too big.

We always have at least one fruit in the fridge half eaten by one of the girls. There are tons and tons of small (also called undersized and/or sub-standard) fruit that don’t ever make it to the market. Even though there are a lot of people who will really benefit from smaller fruit. Sad but true.

Small fruit are ideal for children, the elderly and diabetics who have sugar and calorie restrictions.

One could probably argue that you could cut a fruit in half, eat the one half now and the other tomorrow or later. The thing is, during that time, if the fruit is not contained in special packaging with modified atmosphere, the vitamins start to break down due to oxidation.  So, it is much better to have a small fruit that one could consume at once and next time eat another. One, which nutrients are still protected by its skin or peel. Makes sense doesn’t it.

Our four year old who really lvoes the idea of small fruit
Our four year old who really loves the idea of small fruit.

Are there people championing small fruit?

Yes, there sure are. We came across Kiwi Berries in South Africa back in 2010. These kiwi berries can be eaten without peeling and they are delectable bursts of potent flavour!

Lady Finger bananas are tiny bananas that make for the best kids’ snack especially when travelling. They are readily available in Mexico, Central and South America and Southeast Asia.

Yesterday, Wil found a photo of baby Granny Smith Apples on Instagram. I kid you not! They are adorable. Can’t wait to get hold of them to taste and ponder.

There are also small red apples from New Zealand, marketed under the brand name Rockit.

Lastly, one of my all time favourite babies, Ronde de Bordeaux figs. They are very nutritious and a delicious sweet treat anywhere anytime.

A BIG THANKS to all the people driving the small fruit initiative!!!

Last thought

At the moment we have a whole lot of delicious fruit in our fruit bowl, including traditional size fruit and the small Ercolini pears.

What we’ve noticed is that our daughters are drawn to the smaller pears. First of all, we think that they associate with the smaller fruit and secondly, small fruit seem more child friendly to eat and not so intimidating.

Yesterday Sebaea finished a baby pear and proudly held up the core to announce the fact. At four, it is a big deal that you finish your food. Adults are constantly telling children that they must eat all their fruit and vegetables to grow a mermaid tail, to become a tiger, to grow wings, to read without saying the words out loud…that’s a massive responsibility for a little girl. So she really gained a sense of achievement when she finished the not-pre-cut-by-mommy-pear. 

Small Ercolini pear enoys priority over other fruit
Small Ercolini pear enjoys priority over other fruit.

6 thoughts on “Baby Fruit

  1. Beste Mariska,

    Baie geluk met jou artikel en hierdie idee van jou en Wil. Dit is alles in een – interessant en leersaam, lekker om te lees en professioneel aangebied. Ek sien uit na die volgende. Groete.



  2. You are totally right about size!! Thanks for starting a campaign! Loved your fruit bowl photo and see that you have a Peruvian Chirmoya….called in Peru the Queen of all Fruits…yeah for your blog!


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