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The Day's food in war and peace
([ca.1918])

Lesson VII: [Fruits and vegetables],   pp. 76-87 PDF (3.5 MB)


Page 79

into" quarters and cooked till soft without either paring or coring,
and rubbed 
through a strainer. 
Pineapples can be cut up with very little waste, if they are first cut crosswise
into thin slices. The skin can then be cut from the slices with scissors.
WHEN FRUITS AND VEOETABLIES ARE ABUNDANT. 
What has been said in the last paragraphs refers to the problem of making
a small amount of fruits and vegetables go a long way so that the diet will
not 
lack mineral substances and other body-regulating materials. The fact should
not be overlooked, however, that there are no dietetic reasons why these
foods 
should not be used in such large amounts that their protein, starch, and
sugar 
will make it possible to economize on meat, wheat, and cane sugar. If they
can 
be used near the place of their production, the cost of transportation will
also 
be saved. There are few things that the householder can do that will effect
greater saving of materials and labor needed elsewhere than to raise fruits
and 
vegetables and to preserve them in times of abundance for use in seasons
of 
scarcity. 
When fruits and vegetables are to be used to save staples, new problems 
arise. Now the housekeeper, instead of giving her chief attention to the
matter 
of saving the juices and the less attractive portions, must think of special
ways of preparing and serving them so that they will be suitable substitutes
for the foods that are to be omitted from the diet. This brings up questions
of flavor and of texture. 
Texture is a term which is properly used only of cloth, but sometimes, applied
to food for lack of a better word. The texture of foods is described by 
such words as hard, soft, brittle, crisp, oily, smooth, granular, coarse-grained,
and fine-grained. In an attractive meal the foods served should be of different
textures. They should neither be all soft, like milk toast and custard, nor
all 
hard, like crisp rolls and nuts. Crisp, crusty rolls combine well with meat
stews, and hard cookies with soft desserts. A few nuts in a cooked cereal
are oftenulcceptable because of the contrast in textures which they provide.
These problems of flavor and texture are very important when fruits and 
vegetables are to be used in place of meats, cereals, and rdinary sweets.
The 
starch of potatoes can, to be sure, take the place of the starch of bread
so far 
as nutrition is concerned, but the texture of potatoes is very different
from 
that of bread, particularly from that of the crust. The protein of green
peas 
and lima beans can be used in place of part of the protein of beef, mutton
and 
pork to provide body-building material, but these legumes lack the flavor
of 
meats as well as their texture and offer no substitute for the crisp brown
crust 
of the well-cooked meat. The sugar of oranges, apples, plums, bananas, pine-
apples, berries, or melons can be used in place of cane sugar to provide
fuel 
for the body but the sweet flavor of the sugar in fruits is often concealed
by 
acids. It is difficult, therefore, to serve most fresh fruits so that they
will 
take the place of sweets, without added sugar. 
When fruits and vegetables are used for their more common purposes, i. e.,
when fruits are served as a first course at breakfast or with the cereal
or are 
used for dessert at either of the other meals and when vegetables are used
as 
side dishes with meat or for salads, there is no reason why they should be
prepared in unusual ways even during the present food crisis. As a rule the
simplest way of serving them is the best. The flavor of most vegetables Is
best 
preserved if they are served cooked in a little water and seasoned with a
little 
butter, butter substitute, or cream. Many so-called salad vegetables, such
as 
60173*°-18--6 


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