some readers may find it funny, even weird, that in the philippines, apart from ham, chocolate and cheese, another “special” christmas food that should appear on the noche buena table is apples. any type of fruit will do actually, but apples and grapes are high on the list because they have traditionally been very expensive to buy here (especially during the 70s and 80s), such that even if they’re relatively cheaper now (with some local fruits like mangoes costing more), they still hold a special place on the christmas dinner table.
personally, i like smelling apples more than eating them. but when i do eat them i buy the fuji variety, which is much crunchier and sweeter than the golden delicious and the other “american” breeds. the fuji apple actually seems like a cross between a pear and an apple, and it goes very well with salads too.
i think we get most of our apples here from china or japan. i think china also grows those red ones and the granny smith varieties. what a twist, hey? from being apple-pickers in the fields of california, the chinese may one day supply the US with apples (that will be the end of US domination as we know it, ha.ha.).
speaking of apple-picking, when we were kids our mom’s friend sent a picture of her picking apples from an orchard, and on the ground were hundreds of apples just left to rot. can you imagine how that affected the psyche of an apple-deprived child here in this country, where at one time, having an apple on the table signified your social class? he.he. so, one of our biggest childhood dreams then was to actually pick apples from a tree someday.
for me, that dream actually happened a few years back, but long after since i was a child. he.he. like most dreams that are actually fulfilled, you somehow get disappointed after you’ve actually lived it. it felt like i was just picking slightly-bigger aratiles or mansanitas 😛 i guess it’s the dreaming and the chasing part that makes it special, like most of those things that we think we have to have.