Non-metaphorically Strange Fruit



A mix of tropical and hybrid fruits recently available in the United States. Credits: Photograph by Anthony Cotsifas. Styled by Michael Reynolds. Retouching: Anonymous Retouch. Prop assistant: Caleb Andriella. Photo assistants: Karl Leitz and Jess Kirkham. Fruit courtesy of Melissa’s Produce and Frieda’s Specialty Produce.

From the New York Times, the most unusual short news feature we have seen in some time just came to our attention. An April Fool’s item, perhaps? Click to the end of the story to see these “fruits” identified:

In a world of very few absolutes, here is one: Nature has no more perfect offering than fruit, nothing that seems better engineered to delight and entice humankind’s every sense. But of course, the real purpose of fruit is not to make humans happy, but to make more fruit: While it is the result of a relentless biological process that we happen to enjoy, the creation of fruit itself — from its larval stage as a flower to its dropping from the tree or bush onto the ground and growing into a new tree or bush — would go on whether we were there to appreciate it or not.

But let’s pretend for a moment that, really, fruit’s only purpose is to give us pleasure. There is the pleasure of touching it (the bristly, terrier-like skin of a kiwi; the Arthurian-legend-worthy, dragonlike scales of the heart-shaped cherimoya), of looking at it (what is lovelier than a late-summer watermelon cracked in two, red as a secret) and, especially, of tasting it: All fruit may not be equally sweet, but all of it is consistently sweet, which means that consuming it is guaranteed to be, at the very worst, a semi-gratifying sensation and, at the very best, ecstasy-inducing. It is probably the only thing in life that provides such reliable happiness, however momentary.

Knowing this, it’s perhaps no surprise that we have been creating hybrid fruits — sweeter, prettier, more gratifying children of two already sweet, pretty and gratifying parents — for as long as history has been recorded.

Read the rest here.

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