Friday, August 8, 2008

Produce Chronicles: The Saga Continues….

At the grocery store the other day, I realized there’s a lot I don’t understand about produce. I know the basic fruit and vegetable dos and don’ts. I know a few things about what constitutes a good cantaloupe or how to choose a good head of lettuce. I can also gauge a fairly good long white potato. Good ole’ American 1960s produce and I get along with each other well.

But beyond that….

Here’s an example: A Tomatilla. What the hell is a Tomatilla? I’ve never seen one before in my life. It looks like a riddle ….”What do you get when you cross a Brussels Sprout with a Venus Fly Trap?” It’s very “Dr. Seuss-like” too---it belongs on the top of a “Cocka-lot Tree.” I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I bought it.

Next come Pluots (which I actually researched when I got home). They are a “new” fruit and a cross between a plum and an apricot.

I think I’m a little uncomfortable with a “new” fruit.

Sounds like something from the hydro-ponic garden on “Lost in Space.” What if I eat one, and the genetic mixture sets off a chain reaction in my body and I grow a tail?

Then there are the fruits that are too much trouble to eat. Number one on my list is Kiwi. They start out the size of a “Ped-egg” and by the time you’re done manipulating the mush and sticky peel, you’re down to something the size or a marble. Pomegranate is also a ridiculous fruit. I THINK you eat the seeds…but I’m not really sure. Also, I heard if you get the juice on you, it’s like the Cat and the Hat Comes Back’s “Pink Ink.”

”I would not eat Pomegranate today,

I would not eat it, Mora-Mi May.”

If they’re taking requests for fruit engineering, though, I’d like to see a Kiwi, Pomegranate and all other “difficult to deal” with fruits be crossed with bananas such that they have a no-mess zipper-like peel.

….in case anyone’s asking.

Then there are the herbs and greens. I might like to try some fresh herbs once in a while, but why don’t they label them? I might need a “Field Guide to Vegetable Leaf Distinction” or a horticultural degree to recognize the differences. I know about “leaves- of-three,” but not “leaves of cilantro.” I’m also confused about which stems you eat.

Once you decide to buy some vegetables you have to fuss with the plastic bags the grocer provides. WHY are they so hard to open?? I’m 43, with fairly limber fingers and I was rubbing my index finger and thumb together so hard I saw smoke. If I have to work that hard to get fresh vegetables…I might want a Big Mac instead.

But all this talk is making me hungry, so….

Take Care and may your melons be sweet scented, your bananas, slightly yellow and your kiwi, firm enough to peel!

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