My problem with prunes


prunesLet’s just get it out there up front: I like prunes.

No, wait, that’s doing a disservice to prunes. Let me clarify: I REALLY like prunes.

I also like raisins a whole bunch and I’m a big fan of their poppas, plums and grapes, but I digress…

For many people, prunes are simply a means to an end (pun originally unintended, but approved). They provide a quick solution to those looking for relief of certain digestive issues or an increase in dietary fiber.

Speaking of dietary fiber, as I was wandering through the aisles on my semi-monthly Wal-Mart shopping trip, I thought to look up some stats on my favorite cereal boxes. Would you believe that Fruit Loops has 50% more dietary fiber than Life cereal? Of course, both pale in comparison to my beloved Raisin Bran (raisins!), but I digress again…

My preference for prunes is much more ingrained and has its roots back in my childhood. No, I didn’t have “certain digestive issues” as a child; try not to jump ahead.

When I was a wee lad, still in single digits, one of the favorite places Mom liked to take me and my sister was a breakfast place called “Rascal House”. I can still see it in my mind, on Collins Avenue in North Miami Beach.

Regardless of what was ordered for breakfast, it always included these mini danish (a little smaller than rugula). There were only two choices, cheese and prune. I honestly couldn’t tell you which one I loved more (and still can’t today).

The best part of the deal was that if you finished off the batch before your breakfast arrived, you got a new batch free. Suffice to say, I had no problem finishing the batch. It’s possible I got more prune than cheese because my Mom and Sis preferred the cheese, but with 50 years separating those memories, I can’t vouch on that one.

To this day, anytime I shop at my favorite Fresh Market (“The Boys”), I pop by the bakery area and pick up one of their monster prune danish, making sure to turn my head swiftly away from the mesmerizing Napoleons in the next glass case over, but I digress once more…

So was born my love for prune danish and eventually prunes.

Now, here’s my problem: Occasionally I will pick up a container of prunes (y’know, one of those 18 oz. tubs, about the size of a coffee can) and munch on them. Like potato chips. Without being aware of it, I’ll have downed a whole heckuva lot of prunes in one sitting.

Which, of course, has me sitting somewhere else as a “reward” for my healthy eating habits.

What’s a prune lover to do? It’s not often I go the “max route” with a tub of prunes, but it happens every now and then. Perhaps one day I will learn some restraint, but I suspect I will always have a problem with prunes.

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