Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day Forty-One: Hold Your Applesauce

I was small when Disney's Aladdin came out (smallish--I was eight) and I remember laughing out loud at a particular scene in which the genie is playing game-show host in the cave of wonders, right when Aladdin first meets him. I laughed wholeheartedly when the sign flashed "Applause" because I thought it said "Applesauce," which was hilarious because, well, it was silly.

Now I'm twenty-six and guess what? I still think applesauce is silly. For adults, that is. For babies it's awesome. Also for those without teeth. People with jaws wired shut, and so on. But really, as an adult, I see very little use for applesauce as a food on its own. I use it in baking. Every muffin recipe I've ever devised contains either applesauce or mashed banana (or sometimes pumpkin puree) to keep it moist. But eating it with a spoon? I just can't figure why any adult would do that. Unless, like me, they were trying to make themselves like foods they don't like, and walked around their apartment eating it from a plastic cup (I had to pace because applesauce on its own is so boring and my eyes are already sore from a long morning of reading).

My dad (and probably many other Americans) loves applesauce with his pork chops. I have to concede that the flavors of apple and pork go nicely together. There was a time when pork chops topped my I-won't-eat-that list, but once I discovered how to cook them properly (they're done long before they turn to rubber) I started to love them. But why have a pork chop and applesauce when you could have a lovely chunky apple chutney? Apple stuffing? Baked apples? I know there are recipes for chunky "applesauce" out there, but it seems that the favorite way of eating pork chops and applesauce is with the plain puree, out of a jar. What about an apple juice reduction with a few herbs thrown in? That sounds pretty good to me.

So, you see, I'm still not sold on applesauce, or any sort of fruit puree, I'd say. I love apples. I have all my powers of mastication and digestion. Applesauce on its own doesn't make me retch, but I think I'll leave it for baking.

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