Monday, February 15, 2010

Exotic Fun By Myself


My latest trip to Harris Teeter was also my first since the snowstorms, and after six days of ground beef, bread, and fried stodge, I went a little bananas buying produce (though ironically I didn't buy any bananas). Asparagus! Organic vine tomatoes! Peeled red onions! Mesclun greens! Fresh cilantro! An entire carillon of bell peppers! 2 Many Avocados! Spicy spicy jalapenos!

Then I stopped in awe in front of the exotics shelf. At long last, I thought, this would be the week that I Tried Weird Fruit.There were only two I had never heard of in my life: something called "Uniq Fruit" (above, left) and "Sharon Fruit" (right).

Tonight I had a little one-woman tasting party. First came the Sharon Fruit. I had no clue how to eat it--looking it on the Internet first would have taken away all the fun--so I just cut it in half.

It was weirdly solid inside: no pulp, no seeds, very stringy. I kept cutting, hoping to get a seed pocket or something. Was this, like, some kind of pomegranate? No dice. A weird smell filled the room, like oranges mixed with flour and corpse. And did I smell...overripe avocados?

Time to taste!
GROSS. No wonder no one was raving about these babies.

Once, when my sister and I were little, under the supervision of our nanny, we made our mother a “birthday cake” to surprise her when she got home from work. We dumped indiscriminate amounts of flour, milk, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and egg into a bowl and microwaved it together for about 2 minutes, creating an oddly gelatinous end product. I remember Mom trying to eat it and Catherine bursting into tears when she couldn’t quite choke the whole thing down.

That’s what a Sharon Fruit tastes like: what happened when Nature played “let's make God a birthday cake while he's out." It was a nice try, guys.

(Here's what I found out when I Googled: it's a kind of sweet and juicy persimmon, and I probably ruined its flavor by putting it in the fridge and letting it ripen for too long. Also, it's supposed to taste like a mango; its nickname is the "Korean mango," and boy do I not like mango.)

Next there was the Uniq Fruit. After the Sharon disaster, I didn’t hold out much hope for its shelfmate, but a glimmer remained. It was obviously citrus: how bad could it be? We were talking Osage at worst, Clementine at best.

Hooray! The result was pure deliciousness, like a very mild and juicy heart-shaped orange. Vitamin C *and* a thirst quencher—the only downside was that juice ran everywhere. I felt like I was eating something friendly but mischievous.

Turns out I'd heard of this fruit before. I didn't realize that these were otherwise known as the Ugli Fruit. My guess is that team Ugli Fruit thought their product had more of a chance with a cuter name. Like Greenland!

I'll be getting this one again soon.

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