Fruit Pairings

2015 Dole Pairings Americana

For its 2015 DOLE Fruit Pairings,
Dole revisits American flavor pathways,

finding inspiration in our nation’s regional traditions. As one of the world’s greatest melting pots, American cuisines are an amalgam of native and adapted foods, immigrant cultures and adventurous cooks. A pioneer himself, James Dole established his pineapple plantation on Hawai’i, on the furthest shores of the American west, where a regional cuisine with native, Portuguese and Asian influences was already well established. As we shall see, equally intriguing foodways can be found in the other 49 states.


Strawberry & Basil

& Basil

A favorite fruit in US households, and an agricultural constant in California’s coastal growing regions, strawberries have found their way into every menu part. In savory or sweet applications, the strawberry’s fruity aroma, bright red color, juicy texture and natural sweetness know few equals. Also at home in California’s mild climate, basil matches strawberries in culinary range and versatility. It’s no wonder so many west coast standards call for both ingredients.

Raspberry & Avocado

& Avocado

Blessed with temperate climates, the fertile valleys of the western-most states have become the nation’s farm stand. Not only does this region supply lettuces, row crops and sublime berries, it produces distinctive regional crops like the versatile, creamy-textured avocado. Colorful, appealing and too often pigeonholed on menus, both avocados and raspberries both shine in sweet and savory applications from sauces to smoothies.


Apples & Cheese

& Cheese

With its rigorous winters, thousands of lakes, and long, sultry summers, the immigrants from the central and northern European countries flourished in the US heartland. The climate suited their agricultural roots and food traditions. Cheese makers followed dairymen to bring their contribution to the nation’s table. Apple orchards were quickly established in the same territories, the blossoms marking Midwestern springs, and the fruit gracing cheese plates and bakery classics.

Cherries & Oats

& Oats

Across the Great Lakes region, culminating in Michigan’s upper peninsula, the cherry harvest marks the beginning of a Midwestern summer. The harvest of tart red cherries and dark sweet cherries is cause for celebration at festivals showcasing the fruit’s many, delectable uses. A cereal grass with an edible seed, oats crossed the Atlantic to contribute toasty and substantial goodness, first to the American breakfast table and later to artisan brews and bakeries. Little wonder the two make natural flavor partners from breakfast through dessert.


Cranberries & Sage

& Sage

Favoring a watery environment, cranberries are the garnet treasure gleaned from New England bogs. High in antioxidants and tart in flavor, cranberries have shed their holiday identity to become a year-round staple in energy/nutrition bars, baked goods, relishes and beverages. Originally prized as a medicinal herb, sage has found a home in the American kitchen as a favorite flavoring for poultry and stuffing/dressing. It’s savory, slightly peppery taste suits roasts, braises, and soups, and adds a pleasing resonance to herb blends.

Blueberries & Maple Syrup

& Maple Syrup

Bitter winters can bring unexpected rewards. In the Northeast, native sugar maples deliver a sap that residents boil down into divine and distinctive syrup. Equally hearty, the blueberry shrub hunkers through prolonged cold to yield sweet and colorful orbs that flavor favorite foods and beverages. Together, they make a bright and complex fruit flavor force that brightens menus and heightens appetite appeal.


Mangos & Carnitas

& Carnitas

Not many regions are as defined by their cuisine as the southwestern US. The rugged terrain–marked by high plains, deserts and sparse vegetation–has given rise to a richly spiced and sturdy fare based on corn, peppers, chiles, and pork. Traditional dishes feature bold sauces and barbecued meats complemented with fresh fruit and vegetable relishes. Mangos, migrating across the border from Mexico, quickly found their way into the region’s flavorful salsas and refreshing drinks.

Pineapple & Chile Peppers

& Chile Peppers

Ristras of chiles are a hallmark of the Southwest; the peppers are braided into edible decorations and “at hand” storage for cooks. Locals grow a wide variety of capsicums, valuing their specific characteristics, from mild to fiery or smoky. With a permeable food border with Mexico, it’s little wonder the cooling influence of the tropical pineapple has become a natural counterpoint to the peppers’ spicy influence.


Peaches & Pecans

& Pecans

Georgia is famous for its peaches. In fact, southerners are so fond of the fruit, they use peach and peachy as natural superlatives. The pecan tree is a species of hickory native to the southeastern US. Surprisingly, the pecan is not a nut, but a delectable seed that mellows further when toasted. It’s no surprise that these two southern favorites pair so sublimely.

Bananas & Bourbon

& Bourbon

Bananas first entered the United States through the port of New Orleans. Is it any wonder this lush and sweet tropical fruit found a favored spot in the south’s distinctive cuisine? It is rumored that Bourbon Street is the namesake for the American whiskey made from corn and aged in charred barrels. Whatever the origin, bourbon’s rich color and caramel flavor make a perfect foil for banana dishes.

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