World Cup Fruit Cup

 
My friend Alice Little Grevet, who lives in Paris (lucky Alice!), came up with this recipe title.
 
Alice is one of those people who frequently paste the word “Gooooooooaaaaaal!!!” on their Facebook pages at this time of year.
 
Like many people living in the United States, I am following the World Cup only peripherally —primarily by watching British humorist John Oliver’s commentary on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
 
I’m impressed (but not enough to watch an entire match) that the U.S. team actually appears to be holding its own in the competition—so far, at any rate—but not in any arrogant fashion.
 
Rooting for the U.S. in the World Cup is rather like rooting for the Red Sox in the good old days when they lost all the time. It’s genteel. 

My fruit cup is also relatively genteel, I hope. It is the only international fruit cup recipe I have, given to me years and years ago by a Spanish woman living in France. 

I’ve written here before about Paris en Films, the film festival organized by my honorary godmother, Dagny Johnson. During my first summer working with the festival we were housed in a one-bedroom apartment on the Avenue Victor Hugo in Paris.
 
Despite its relative paucity of rooms the apartment was quite grand, with panels of mirrors on the walls that made it appear even grander. We rented it from a Spanish nobleman. Our landlord owned a building in Paris so that he could stay there from time to time and watch marathon features of pornographic films, which were banned in Franco’s Spain.
 
I found this bizarre. I guess it’s no odder than keeping an apartment in Paris so one can eat the food or go to the museums or look at the gorgeous city, all of which sound perfectly rational to me. But I was a very naïve teenager.
 
Through this nobleman Dagny found our cook/housekeeper, Nieves Garcia. Madame Garcia’s husband worked at the Spanish Embassy. 

Madame Garcia was a perky suicide blonde who seemed to have a perpetual smile on her face. She wasn’t actually a terrific cook (she had only about four dishes in the repertoire she served our guests), but she had an aura about her that defied anyone to criticize her culinary talents.

 
My favorite among Madame Garcia’s kitchen creations was her signature fruit cup.
 
She used whatever fruit was at hand and gave it a little extra zip with sugar, orange juice, and anise liqueur.
 
In honor of Madame Garcia and of soccer players everywhere I offer her recipe. I tried to find international fruits and juices when I tested it this week. Unfortunately, the only exotic fruits available at my local general store were bananas.
 
Feel free to add any international fruits you can find—and perhaps to substitute some Brazilian cashew juice (if you can find that) for the o.j.
 
Although you may of course use another liqueur in place of the anise I counsel against it. The licorice taste contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the fruit and really makes this dish. 

Your guests may well yell “Gooooooooaaaaaal!!!” as they eat.

 
Madame Garcia’s Spanish Parisian Fruit Cup
 
Ingredients:
 
6 cups assorted fruit
2 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
2 tablespoons orange juice (or to taste)
2 tablespoons anise liqueur (or to taste)
 
Instructions:
 
Place the fruit in a pretty bowl. Measure out the remaining ingredients in the order in which they appear above. 

Allow the fruit to marinate for at least 15 minutes. Serves 6.


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8 Responses to “World Cup Fruit Cup”

  1. Jack Estes says:

    Thanks, Tink. Looks really good. And the World Cup has been exciting, too.

    Thought I’d mention – especially since you brought up Paris en Films – that NYC is having a Food/Film Festival starting this week. Check it out at http://www.nycfoodfilmfestival.com/index.html

  2. That combines two of the best things this summer! Fresh, in-season fruit and the World Cup!

    Here’s to the continued success of the U.S.!

  3. Ginny says:

    Yum!

  4. Diana says:

    Just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed the World Cup Fruit Cup report.

    Watching Jon Stewart is one thing, but what’s this about British humorist John Oliver? Where do we find him? …. The account of your Parisian adventures is very good. Perhaps what you really need to do is to be writing a memoir! They’re very popular these days and I think you could produce a best-seller!

  5. I did something similar the other day (using up the remains in the fruit bowl before adding the new stuff) I didn’t put in any liqueur … perhaps I should have, because the leftovers fermented!!

  6. Sounds lovely, I’d never have thought of the anise flavor in fruit salad. And I’m loving the World Cup this time around. USA!

  7. tinkyweisblat says:

    Jack, I may have to try doing a food and film festival myself here in Hawley! Ginny, thanks. Diana, Oliver is The Daily Show’s British “correspondent.” Frayed–oops. Abigail and Benjamin, go USA indeed!

  8. I am not a big licorice or anise fan, never have been really. (Although I have been known to enjoy an after-dinner sip of Sambuca at our favorite Italian restaurant so…I may give this a try :) I think the combination of the fruit with the anise would make me enjoy the flavor even more. Thanks!

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