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Comparing Apples and Oranges (Ep 92)

Posted on Oct 11, 2011

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Foolish, fearful people have long said comparing apples and oranges couldn't be done. We revisit the episode where we proved them wrong, with help from our pal Win Rosenfeld.

Photo: Flickr CC / thebusybrain

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Michael King says:

Oh... Oranges? Those "Cuties" brand seedless buggers that get sold every year are magnificent!

Michael King says:

I love apples and oranges both... I have fond memories of climbing my grand dads apple (and pear) trees and eating the fruit off the tree. But alas, an adult-onset allergy has left me unable to eat fresh apples. I am allergic to the skins of "skinned" fruits -- grapes, cherries, apples, pears... It's been heartbreaking. Citrus I'm okay with. Strawberries and cranberries likewise... Ironically, tomatoes are okay too.My allergist says its related to my hay fever. Cooking the said fruit makes them palatable but the memories of grabbing an apple.... And CRUNCH! -- are forever lost to me. :(

Andrew T. Huston says:

Dan, I have to say that I was woefully disappointed in your approach to apples. As usual, you tend to completely dismiss something you don't particularly care for as either trivial or accompany it with the implication that people who like something you do not have something wrong with them. See also: the approach (that actually BOTH of you took) to chocolate chip cookies. A nice, soft cookie can indeed be nice, but there are thousands and thousands of people who love a crisp, crunchy cookie that is reminiscent of an almost-toffee-like body accompanied by the chips. A soft cookie (as you mentioned, Dan) really needs a special blend of chocolate that has gotten to that point where simple contact with your skin can make it melt. That is divinity, but it's extremely rare. I recently experienced a cookie like this when I visited The Salty Tart in Midtown Minneapolis, and it was indeed very good. Yet, there is still something to be said for crunchy cookies, and you dismissed them outright, and I think wrongfully so.Regarding your discussion of apples, I think that just perusing one internet site has left you ignorant of the reasons for all of the breeds of apple. For instance: there are dozens of heritage breeds of apple that are much too bitter to be eaten raw (they're almost the size of crabapples) that were bred specifically for the brewing of hard ciders when they were one of the default drinks of choice in the 18th century, before the widespread popularity of beer really took over in the 19th century. These apples were bred to give body, character, and a mature bitterness to these ciders - yet you did not mention them. True, there are many, many breeds of apples, but these are the result of many different decisions and necessities. Citrus fruits in general, and particularly oranges, are very sensitive to the climates in which they are grown. You don't see any oranges being grown outside of carefully controlled greenhouses north of the Mason-Dixon line (and probably even further South than that). Apples, however, are much more widespread across multiple climates, and because they tend to have the genetic structure that enables them to be bred relatively easily, they can adjust to different climates - you can grow apples from Maine to Washington, and New Hampshire to Georgia. This remarkable adaptability comes from people breeding different apples. The same could be said of orchardists breeding apples that are resistant to different forms of blight and disease, self-pollinating and cross-pollinating varieties, and so forth. Yes, some are purely for commercial purposes, but just dismissing all of them because there are so many is akin to Joseph II disliking Mozart's music because it has "too many notes."Just because you don't like something, Dan, does not give you a right to dismiss it as haughtily as you sometimes do. Please give a care to other peoples' tastes when discussing your own preferences - it's about getting "a Sporkful of knowledge," not a Sporkful of "YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT IF YOU DON'T AGREE WITH ME ON THIS."

Naveen Konduri says:
monkey-seven says: