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National Fruit Cocktail Day


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May 13th is National fruit cocktail day.  When we think of fruit cocktail most of think of a canned mixture of pears, pineapple, grapes and peaches with something they call cherries, but don’t really resemble real cherries and drenched in a sugary syrup.  Often packed in kids lunches, thought of as healthy, but that was before people read food labels or understood how much added sugar was in there.

According to Wikipedia, fruit cocktail is often sold canned, but does not have to be.  The word cocktail refers to it being an appetizer made by combining pieces of food. It was often served as an appetizer for a luncheon or dinner to precede the soup course.

Canned fruit cocktail according to the USDA must contain certain percentage distribution of the fruits mentioned above in order to be called and marketed as fruit cocktail and the cherries can be artificial.   And canned fruit cocktail contains diced fruit as opposed to canned fruit salad which would have larger chunks.

So, taking that in consideration we can’t consider any of the recipes here for fruit salad and instead will create this classic fruit cocktail using fresh fruit that will knock your cans off.  I would just wait until June or July when these fruits are at their best to make this.

The trick to this fruit cocktail is peeling the peaches.  To do this all you have to is score a thin at the top of the peach and place it in boiling water for 1 minute.  Then put it into cold water and the peel will come right off.

Dice the peeled peach and add to it a diced peeled pear, diced pineapple (make sure to remover the core) and add some diced green grapes and diced bing cherries.  The cherries will be bright dark red and look gorgeous or you can use the lighter rainier cherries if you want it to look more like the classic.

If you are up for going outside your comfort you can also try dicing some citrus fruits like grapefruits and oranges and combining them with a bit of chopped mint for a new kind of cocktail.

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