ORIENTED TO LIFE
The Sweet Smell of Äpfels
This morning when I got in the car Larry was eating an apple while waiting for me. The burst of fragrance from the apple reminded me of this experience I wrote about some years ago.
Last week, while on our trip to Cologne, Germany, my husband Larry and I stopped at a “bio” store (where they sell organic food and other natural products) to buy some bottles of water. [All the water, by the way, was natural spring water bottled in glass. There is no beverage, to me, that matches very cold spring water in a very cold glass bottle. Plastic bottles just don’t hold the chill in the same way.|
As we were looking for the bottled water, we happed to walk down a produce aisle and immediately smelled the sweet fragrance of äpfels (I am calling these apples by their German name because they were unlike any apples so-called in English that I have ever experienced). We looked around and there were crates of fresh organically-grown äpfels piled up along both sides of the aisle–about a dozen different varieties. They must have been just picked nearby as äpfel season is just starting.
What a heady aroma! I just wanted to stand there forever and breathe it in. I wanted to buy one of each variety and taste the uniqueness of each one (the only reason I didn’t was that I am temporarily not eating fruit, but Larry bought a few and reported they were the best apples he had ever eaten).
Though we have much food here in the USA, we are malnourished by our industrial food system for lack of variety and lusciousness and aliveness of the foods we could be enjoying. I couldn’t remember the last time I was around an apple and said, “Oh my God! This fragrance!”
The last time I tasted anything that actually tasted like an apple was many years ago when I lived in California. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, once or twice a year we would drive to Mendocino, a lovely vacation town on the Pacific coast. The inland route went through the Alexander Valley. If we went in the fall, we could stop at the Philo Apple Farm where they grew many varieties of apples. We’d eat apple turnovers and drink fresh-pressed apple cider and bring home bags of apples of different varieties. [Did I tell you apples are Larry’s favorite food? Fall is the season for fresh apples (the rest of the year stores sell old refrigerated apples].
This is how our food should be—alive, nutritious, luscious, calling out to us to eat it with its beautiful fragrance.
Having magnificent fruits and vegetables to eat—experiencing them directly, just as nature intended—just inspires me. And, to me, such foods are the foundation of good health.
I’m happy to report that today I have such wonderful apples available to me every day. I happen to live in a place where apples of many varieties are grown right here—even in my own backyard. And we get them straight of the tree or from roadside stands and farmer’s markets. I am so grateful for this.