As to whether raw fruits are better than cooked, there is a diversity of opinion. Much depends upon the individual. When one can take raw fruit without disturbing any of the digestive processes, it is well to do so. The fruit acids have medicinal properties, and aid in toning the system. It is evident, also, that when fruit is eaten raw, none of its food value is lost, as in cooking.
Fruits which are eaten raw should be mature, free from blemish, and perfectly ripe. No fruit or vegetable which has begun to decay should be eaten raw. Such food is not only unsanitary, but is usually lacking in flavor.
All fruit which is to be eaten raw should be washed before serving. The fact is that most fruit has passed through several hands before reaching the table.
Strawberries, blackberries, and all soft, small fruits should be washed by putting into a colander, and moving it up and down in clear water, thus removing all sand and dust. Never wash them long before serving, because they soften quickly when wet. Wash strawberries before hulling. To Prepare Oranges and Lemons.
Oranges and lemons should be scrubbed with a vegetable brush. Apples and pears will have a better gloss if rubbed well with a dry cloth. Peaches should merely have the fuzz rubbed off carefully. To prepare grapes for the table, remove all imperfect ones with a sharp knife, then wash each bunch, by moving about in water. Cherries and strawberries, when large and nice, may be served on the stems as picked, each guest being supplied with a small dish of powdered sugar. In arranging fruits for the table, it is frequently well to serve different kinds on the same dish, and so combine colors and varieties as to give a pleasing effect. A few green leaves interspersed with the fruit beautifies the dish. Raw fruits should always be served cold, and for the sake of variety, they are sometimes frozen before serving.
Pare, and with a sharp knife remove the eyes. Shred fine with a silver fork. Put a layer of pineapple in a serving dish, and sprinkle with sugar, continue thus until the dish is filled. Cover closely, and keep cool until serving time.
Wash the outside clean, and put in the cellar or in cold water until thoroughly cold. Then cut in slices, or in any of the fancy shapes, before putting on the table. Serve on a plate with a fork.
It is better to bring melons from the garden early in the morning, when possible, as they are then cool, and can be easily kept so.
See that they are cold, clean, and wiped dry. If small, halve them, remove the seeds, and serve a whole melon to each person. They may be served with a piece of ice in each half. If the melons are large, cut in eighths or fourths, and serve a piece to each person.