Category Archives: Fruit Ninja

Fruit Ninja #3: The Bosc Pear

Welcome to the third in a series of posts in which I stand in judgment over miscellaneous fruits. Today, I’m judging the Bosc Pear.

What is it?

It’s a pear! It may weird you out, because where do you start?

What does it look like? It looks a lot like a child of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. Not the one they loved, the one they dropped a lot. Either that or the sweet old grandmother who works in the lunchroom in a kid’s TV show.

What does it taste like? It wants to taste like an apple, but it can’t quite manage it. If a plain cake donut could taste like a fruit, it would taste like a pear.

What is its texture? It wants to feel like an apple but it can’t quite manage it. It doesn’t quite have the crunch, or the firmness. It’s more like really old mashed potatoes. And then you run into the gritty bits that feel like when a bit of beaky gristle doesn’t get ground up finely enough and makes its way into the Chicken McNugget as a chunk, which doesn’t help matters.

How does eating one make you feel? Like this:

Yes, complete with the really weird lighting.

How would an Elizabethan orphan react? “I am very fill’d with pangs of hunger. There’s few or none will entertain it, but I wanteth to consume.”

What would its motto be? Inferius signus! (Lower your standards.)

What do the experts say? “Bosc pears stand out in a crowd for many reasons. Their long, curved stem and elegant elongated neck that widens gradually to a full rounded base creates a silhouette that is unique among pears. … Many artists feature the russeted Bosc pear in their paintings, drawings, and photography because of the natural beauty it imparts.” (via USA Pears.)

“The Most Elegant Pear Around” (via Stemilt World Famous Fruit.)

How would you describe this fruit in interpretive dance? 

(See what I did there? Every move is in twos, because it’s a pear.)


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Fruit Ninja #2: Pluot

It’s the second in a series of posts in which I stand in judgment over miscellaneous fruits! This time I’m looking at the pluot, which I’m gonna have to do by memory, since I actually had the pluot a while before I started the series.

What is it? A fruit. Specifically, a hybrid between a plum and an apricot. But not just any hybrid between a plum and an apricot. Pluots are roughly 1/4 apricot and 3/4 plum. If you went another generation to make a 1/8 apricot-7/8 plum hybrid, it would be called a plunt. Messing around with genetics is going to lead to abominations.

What does it taste like? Depends. I had two of them. The first time didn’t taste like much except sort of crunch. Like you had what you thought was an apple but it turned out to be filled with jicama. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t ripe. The second one, almost a week later, was softer, and juicier, and sweeter, and a bit floral.

How should I use it? Eat it raw, carve into a Jack-o-Lantern at Halloween to make people think they’re in some weird parallel universe, serve whole in a pot pie, rub behind the ears as a natural and ineffective perfume, or save the stones and use in the world’s largest rain stick.

What should I be careful of? If you swallow the stone whole, within twelve hours a pluot tree will grow inside your esophagus. “Pluot” is technically a trademarked term, and you can make mostly-plum-with-a-bit-of-apricot hybrids that aren’t pluots, and if you do that but call them pluots then lawyers will eat your face. The inventor of the pluot is named “Chris” but prefers to be called “Floyd,” which is also the name of a pig you can win in football.

What are some fascinating facts, whether true or not? Pluots were born in California, in the wagon of a traveling show. France made the inventor a knight, or what would be a knight if they were the U.K., and since then he’s fled at the sight of enemies, cows, or shadows. Pluots were served to  at the Last Supper, but nobody really liked them much. Pluots come in many colors, including clear. The American Pomological Society is the bestest Pomological Society in the history of Pomological Societies.

How would you rate it? On a scale of one to ten, I give the pluot an ophiuchus.

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Fruit Ninja #1: Golden Kiwi

For the first post in my fruit-rating series, I’ve decided on the golden kiwi.

What is it? Well, it’s a kiwi. Or possibly a potato. Seriously:

golden kiwi

The inside is even potatoeyer.

Inside of a golden kiwi.

Perhaps we should call it a kotato. Or a peewee.

What does it taste like? Pretty nice, actually. I was expecting it to be the same as a regular kiwi—that sort of needlessly tart mush that oozes through you like air through a whoopie cushion. Instead, it was gently tart, and fairly sweet. And the texture was weirdly cooked-potatolike: soft but with enough body that it would hold your bite marks. The skin was also a lot like a potato skin, in both texture and flavor, which is odd but not horrifying.

How should I use it? Eat it raw, add to oatmeal, throw at a clown who is more menacing than funny, gently braise with honey and ginger and mash with parsnips. If the need is desperate, it could satisfactorily substitute for the second wise man in a Nativity display.

What should I be careful of? Zespri is the international spy organization that controls all kiwi production, marketing and sales with an iron fist, so if you cross them, expect repercussions. Even they, however, acknowledge that some people have kiwi allergies. If you find yourself threatened, claim you have one and they’ll probably let you be. There’s a 14-day kiwifruit challenge out there that, if completed, will indoctrinate you into a cult thoroughly legitimate religion and make you spend all your money and your time purchasing, consuming, and writing odes to kiwis. Whether you should eat the skin or not is the subject of immense controversy, so if you’re not entirely certain which way your friends or family go, eat your kiwi in the privacy of your own bedroom, and make sure you clean up any juice squirtings.

What are some fascinating facts, whether true or not? The golden kiwi was invented in the late 1940s in New Zealand when a desperate shepherd attempted to save his marriage by carefully controlling pollination of a kiwi tree so it is only ever touched by a yellow insect. His wife loved the color, and they managed to stay together for another three years, until the fundamental incompatibilities led her to realize that she could leave and become Audrey Hepburn. Kiwis are also known as Chinese gooseberries, which is a fun word, even though it sounds better in British than American.

How would you rate it? On a scale of one to ten, I give the golden kiwi the news that iPhones will no longer have wired earbuds.

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Fat Boy Big Wall: Fruit Ninja!

Here’s a new thing I’m going to try: Fruit!

Well, that’s not true. I eat fruit. Let me back up.

Diet is the tough part of fitness for me. Fundamentally, I think it comes down to the fact that working out is doing something, where 90% of eating right is not doing something (i.e., eating junk food), all the time, even though I want to.

So to try to make eating right into a thing, rather than a non-thing, I’m going to try making it a thing thing instead by eating my way through the produce section, and then writing about it. So I’ll try as many fruits, both mundane and bizarre, as possible, and write about them, using both fact and fiction.

Okay, maybe not fruit in the purely biological sense. I mean, there are a lot more fruits out there than we think. Tomatoes, obviously, but also peppers and squash and anything that you eat that contains seeds. I’ll be going by the gastronomical definition—anything that you’d put in a fruit salad.

I did sort of a proto-example earlier this year with kumquats, although I didn’t realize at the time that was happening. In this series, you’ll learn about flavor, history, personality, science, judgmentalness, and a billion other things.

Hopefully it will be more interesting than cardamom.

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