Fruit and I (or is it me and fruit?) had never really been close. We had been cordial with each other: I'd see an apple or a bag of grapes in the grocery store produce section and I'd nod my head, perhaps offer a friendly, yet non-committal gesture like "hello, nectarines. Nice day, isn't it?" Then I'd continue with my grocery store shopping.
But things changed when I visited Costa Rica for my honeymoon back in September, 2008.
On a boat tour of the Costa Rican jungle, we took a break on a bank of a river and I tasted pineapple for the first time.
Now, I have three great memories of my honeymoon:
1. On that same boat trip, watching a jaguarundi race by at what seemed like a thousand miles per hour and then watching the locals who were running the boat tour LEAVE THE GUESTS BEHIND TO CHASE AFTER IT. I'll never forget the cries of 'jaguarundi! jaguarundi! as they ran after the wild cat.
First of all, guys: please come back? And secondly, that jaguar is in Panama by now.
2. My wife going to a vending machine and leaving me alone for three minutes.
Those sweet, juicy pieces of pineapple changed my life, and not just because it was the quietest my wife had been in months.
I finally had a favorite fruit.
Yet, of all the pineapple I'd eaten since that early-fall day 10 years ago, I'd never actually purchased a whole one.
That is until Thursday evening at the DeKalb Farmer's Market.
I first consulted with a woman who was aggressively smelling the various pineapples.
"How can you tell the best ones? I asked.
"The sweeter the smell the fresher the pineapple," she explained.
Three minutes, nine pineapples & several disappointed "no, no's" & silent "give me that's" from my new friend later, I had found my guy (or girl! Are pineapples male or female?).
I brought it over to the cutter and he expertly sliced off the stem and skin in seconds (those are sharp blades, sir, were you even looking?!) and produced this beautiful piece of fruit:
What we're looking at here is peak my refrigerator.
In the morning I'll have the first bites ("pineapple: the breakfast of guys who played a little JV baseball"), and one day soon it'll all be gone. But my life is forever altered. I'm no longer chunks of a man.
I'm a whole man.
Yes, from now on, I'll take the WHOLE pineapple, please.