Mary J. Lincoln, on Fresh Fruit at the Dinner Table

It would be a great saving of time and work, give a pleasing variety to bills of fare, and be above all a great promoter of health, if people would use ripe fruit abundantly in its season at their tables (not between meals). With the markets bountifully supplied with many varieties of fruit, it is to be regretted that it cannot be found at every table at least once a day. Much of the money spent for some kinds of meat would be better expended for fruit. A simple course of fruit is all that is needed after a dinner, and is much more wholesome than pies. But it is so hard for some people to break away from old customs that it will be long before housekeepers generally will be content to serve the queen of all fruits, the apple, in its natural state instead of making it into the “persistent pie,” over the preparation of which many women toil, for naught save the fear that they may be considered shiftless if they haven’t a pie in the house.

Mary J. Lincoln, Mrs Lincoln’s Boston Cook Book (1891)

Mrs Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln of the Boston Cooking School there, lamenting the lack of the fruit dish on the American dinner table, and writing at the end of the nineteenth century.

Clearly, persuading people to eat fresh fruit instead of carbohydrate-heavy, sugary desserts is not a new problem.

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