Japanese Apple-Peeling – what shape do you end up with?
By Avi Landau
While I was growing up, my grandmother used to tell me to eat my apples unpeeled. She explained that the skin contained vitamins and lots of fiber – and claimed it was the most nutritious part of the fruit. So while she, because of some gastric disorder or another would always peel any fruit or vegetable that she`d be eating, she taught me to take mine, like most Americans, intact.
And it was the same of course for most other fruits – back home, we always ate peaches, plums, apples, grapes and pears with the skin – usually biting right into the whole fruit (I remember how my old professor, the innovative film-maker Ken Jacobs, used to bite into unpeeled oranges as if they were apples!
Despite the fact that the skin DOES contain a lot of fiber and nutrients, I wonder now whether or this was really a good thing for us to be doing. We did wash the fruit, of course, in cold water – but did that get rid of all the chemicals that the farmers had sprayed on them? I highly doubt it.
Then, when I arrived in Japan, I found that the Japanese peel and cut up, just about every fruit they eat- even grapes! They were astonished by the way I would bite into apples just as they were. One doctor friend of mine recommended that I wash my apples with hot water and dish-washing detergent if I wanted to eat them the way I did – and that even if I did, I wouldn`t be able to remove the wax or all the pesticides.
Using soap on my apples did not sound very appetizing, so I tried my hand at apple-peeling – and found that I did not have the patience for it. My Japanese friends taught me a good trick, though: keep the strip of skin between your thumb as you rotate the apple. Now besides being a mere treat for taste-buds ( and they ARE a real treat since Japanese apples are the most delicious in the world) apple-eating has become a challenge – and a test of patience, as I try to remove the skin in one long strip.
Try it. You get this shape