¿Quien Quiere Ser Millonario? (the Spanish version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?) played on the little TV in the corner of the kitchen. My host mom stood at the counter, preparing ceviche, answering every trivia question before the multiple choice options were even displayed on the screen.
Manzana. Pera. Naranja. (Apple. Pear. Orange.)
Tienes muchas paciencia, hija, you have so much patience chopping all of those fruits so small. I had just returned from a trip to Los Lagos region in Chile, where I, along with a heard of other students, had picked fresh oranges, visited a Mapuche village, and dined on food fresh from the Fagón. Dessert? The best damn fruit salad I had ever had.
Fruit salad. Such a blah dish. It's the sort of dish your grandma served as a "healthy dessert" when you really just wanted a cookie (mine did at least). But this fruit salad. This fruit salad! You’d never see fruit salad the same way again. Served in a crystal goblet, it looked like something well beyond the fruit salad I knew. A far cry from the plastic container of pineapple, under ripe melon, and grapes you’d buy at an American grocery store. In Chile, fruit salad like this is called Macedonia De Fruta.
The fruit was chopped so small, you could hardly tell what each bite contained. A hint of lemon. A bouquet of nature’s sweets. A medley of sorts. It must’ve had some effect on me, as the day I returned to my host families home, I volunteered to make the fruit salad for the asado (barbecue) happening that afternoon. I knew exactly what I was going to do.
Slicing and dicing didn’t feel like patience. My mind was far away, the TV just a sound in the background. Chopping each piece of fruit was meditation. I could’ve zoned out for hours.
Serves: 4 | Total Time: 20 minutes
- 1 nectarine
- 1 banana
- 1 apple
- 1 pear
- 2 kiwi
- 1 yellow mango
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Juice of 1/2 an orange
- Sprig of mint
- Chop fruit, removing pits and seeds as you go (remove peels from banana, mango, and kiwi), into 1/2 inch cubes. Place in bowl.
- Sprinkle with lemon zest and squeeze orange juice over fruit. Toss to combine, and top with a spring of mint. Serve immediately or allow flavors to marinate together for 30 minutes, covered, in the fridge to prevent oxidization.