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Sporkful Eater Weighs in on Apple-Orange Debate

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Feb 15, 2012
The Sporkful

Sporkful Eater Sam in DC heard our episode comparing apples and oranges and has something to say. We're glad that he understands the challenge and value of the task:

Thank you for your bravery in addressing apples and oranges. To buck both cliche and society's collective opinion in this way reflects well on your verve and vigor in food-related considerations. The task before you was important, as we can, of course, only be eating one piece of fruit at a time.

Well said. Sam's take is after the jump:

The Peel: Dan and Win argued that the peel, which ostensibly preserves the perfection and integrity of the orange, is sort of the "killer app" of the orange. . . But the peel serves another, darker purpose. It prevents the eater from knowing what lies within. Now, I know the rind holds clues to the quality, freshness, and sweetness of the fruit, but it's still an imperfect indicator. We've all had, I know, the experience of laboriously opening an orange to find that the fruit is too dry or not ripe enough or overripe (with a sickly sweet aftertaste) or otherwise unpleasant. With an apple, a simple survey, squeeze, and sniff tells you everything you need to know about that piece of fruit you're relying on as a tasty snack.

Seeds: Here too, apples excel. I know some oranges sell themselves on their purported state of seedlessness, but with apples, you always know when and where to expect the seeds. We're not being sold some tale of perfection -- we know there will be a core filled with seeds, but we know how to avoid it. With oranges, especially the so-called seedless variety (which often aren't), there's nothing worse than popping a big, juicy segment into your mouth, chewing -- and coming across a bitter, unpleasant seed.

In these respects, choosing between apples and oranges is like finding love. Do you opt to seek for some apparently perfect mate, seemingly pristine, but with terrible, unexpected flaws? Or do you appreciate the honesty of a few outward blemishes, but paired with inner wondrousness and predictable but avoidable issues?

Thank you for your time.

And thank you for your thoughts. Now, who will weigh in with such passion and detail for oranges? Our comments sections awaits you. /mark

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