Some Notes on the Arranging and Serving of Fruit
The following extract is taken from Florence B. Jack, The Woman's Book (London: T.C & E. C. 1911) housed in the Home Studies Collection, Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections.
Fresh fruit should find a place on every table;
it is always wholesome and beautiful, and much taste can be shown in the manner in which it is arranged. When fruit is served at a dinner-party it may either be placed on the table at the beginning and remain throughout the meal, or it may be put down when the guests are ready to partake of it. The first method is to be recommended as far as the decorative appearance of the table is concerned. Although the fruit itself suffers from being exposed to the heat of the room for so long. The softer fruits especially suffer from the hot atmosphere and the odours of savoury dishes. Perhaps the best plan to adopt is to put down the harder and drier fruits, as as nuts, oranges, and apples, and to reserve the daintier and finer ones to be brought in fresh and cool when they are required, either in their natural state or en salad.
When arranging fruit, it must be carefully looked over and any that is blemished put aside. Oranges and apples, pears and other fruit of the kind should be wiped with damp cloth and polished. Grapes should be lightly brushed with a soft brush, peaches and plums very lightly rubbed, and all berries carefully picked and washed if necessary.
Fruit may be arranged in a variety of ways. Each dish may contain either a different kind of fruit, or else a miscellaneous assortment artistically grouped. If the table is large, a handsome centre-piece of mixed fruits sometimes looks well. Many pretty designs for fruit dishes are now sold, and these may either match the fruit plates or from a pleasing contrast. Rustic baskets of different shapes can also be made to look pretty pretty and artistic. Green leaves should always cover the dishes on which the fruit is served. For the larger fruits vine-leaves are the most suitable, which currant-leaves can be used for the smaller kinds.
In winter when fresh leaves are scarce gold and silver paper leaves can often be employed with good effect, especially for dried fruits, dates, figs, Carlsbad plums, crystalised fruits, and such-like.
One important point to remember is that when arranging a dish of mixed fruits the lighter kinds must always be put on the top. Apart from this, there are no fixed rules for the arrangement of fruit, but an eye for colour and artistic taste are as necessary here as in flora decorations.
Image reproduced from John Whitson, Robert John and Henry Smith Williams edited, Luther Burbank: his methods and discoveries and their practical application. Prepared from his original field notes covering more than 100,000 experiments made during forty years devoted to plant improvement. New York: Luther Burbank Press, 1914.Go to footnote reference 2.
Image reproduced from - S.A Beach, N.O Booth and O.M Taylor, State of New York Department of Agriculture. The Apples of New York Volume II. New York: Albany, 1905.Go to footnote reference 3.
Image reproduced from - S.A Beach, N.O Booth and O.M Taylor, State of
New York Department of Agriculture. The Apples of New York Volume II.
New York: Albany, 1905.