Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Fresh Fruit Problem

Now that Spring has finally reached New England (well, sort of), there's an abundance of fresh fruit, and all the issues that raises.  I'm talking about issues such as how to eat watermelon with dignity.  (By "dignity" here, I mean not getting sticky pink juice all over yourself, your clothes and your loved ones.)  Eating watermelon with a knife and fork seems pretentious, but I'm willing to make that sacrifice.

Of greater concern are blueberries.  While nicely packaged for individual consumption, blueberries seem to cry out for company in the form of cream (sour, whipped or otherwise), cereal, or some other bland nourishment.  However, this raises all kinds of challenges.  How, for example, do you mix the blueberries with whatever other food to ensure a uniform distribution?  Obviously you want each mouthful to have the same proportion of blueberry to "other stuff," whatever that may be.  But upon being added to cereal, the blueberries show a remarkable tendency to stick together in groups.  Stirring helps, but is only partly effective at best.

Of course, the most pernicious fruit is the banana.  Apart from the innuendo it inevitably suggests, bananas have a complex structure.  It's tempting to think of them as fruit (to eat) and peel (to throw away.  Things are seldom that simple in life.  Between the edible fruit and the discardable peel, there is a multitude of long fibrous strands of some substance that's not quite fruit or peel.  These generally dangle from a partly exposed banana, taunting the consumer to pass judgement.  It's easy to just pull them off, but if you pursue this too energetically, you begin to destroy the very fabric of the banana.  I'm sure there are philosophical ramifications to this, but they elude me at the moment.

So, enjoy the Spring and Summer, but please use caution.

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