We Americans have a long history of throwing out less-than-perfect fruit. No wonder food waste in this country is up to about 133 billion pounds annually, or one-third of the food we purchase. While this isn’t entirely attributable to our culture’s habit of discarding ugly produce, it is a factor. We like to walk into the produce department at our local grocery store and see polished apples and perfectly uniformed carrots.
A legacy of marketing and industrial farming has left retailers with the power to determine the standards that something as organic as an eggplant should meet. If you have ever grown your own fruits and vegetables, you might have noticed they almost never sprout as uniformly as the ones you see in the supermarket.
Leave it to the French to be the trendsetters in vegetable tastes. Last year, French supermarket chain Intermarché launched a marketing campaign to promote the use of ugly produce. Ugly fruit doesn’t exactly look beautiful in our fruit bowls, but while we display unblemished banana and pears, we should consider what ugly fruit can do for us. Ugly fruit is just as nutritious, sometimes tastes riper, and when you adjust your perceptions, actually looks pretty cool. So next time you think of passing up that lopsided grapefruit at the farmers market or instinctively toss the slightly bruised apple, think about the ugly fruit. If you’re willing to give ugly fruit a try, check out these fruitful recipes.
Use ugly fruit to make fruit dip for your next party. Your favorite fruit takes a dip in creamy vanilla yogurt that's sweetened with a pinch of brown sugar for pure over-the-top delight.
For the Fruit Dip recipe, click here.
Fruit Hand Pies
Whole Foods Market
Pick your favorite ugly fruit for these sweet and fruity hand pies dusted with cookie crumbs. Use premade pie crust dough, or make Whole Foods' Classic Pie Crust.
For the Fruit Hand Pies recipe, click here.
Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.