Discover more from Box 148
Wait, Which Apple Do I Like Again?
Oh no. I’ve done it again. I’ve forgotten what sort of apple I like.
All these cultivars, gifts from centuries of selective breeding, and I haven’t the faintest idea which one is Good. Apples are on my list, so I need to buy them, but there are so many to choose from and my hands are clammy and my cart is empty and everyone can see.
All the old women in this grocery store are strutting around, confident of produce purchased, minds full of knowing what they enjoy, thinking “That young man has forgotten which apple is his favorite.”
And I have! If I ever knew. I think I knew, at one point, but I forgot to write it down.
Here’s what I do know: Apples that are too uniform in color are not to be trusted. A Red Delicious apple is wonderfully red but tastes like a styrofoam tray. The same goes for the Golden Delicious — yellow as a lemon, bland as an accountant. Granny Smith has her admirers, but for me she is too green by half and too tart by whatever fraction is more than that.
Process of elimination. Where does that leave me?
Ah yes — The Rest Of The Apples, Identical In Every Way.
I’m almost certain that last week I bought Fuji apples. They were fine but they weren’t right. So I should get the Gala apples instead, which I think are right! Unless last week I got McIntosh, thinking they were Honeycrisp.
Now the stock boy is laughing at me. He spent his teenaged morning sorting hundreds of apples to sit with their own kind and now he’s thinking “What a silly old man who doesn’t know the difference between Ambrosia and Braeburn.”
Well I don’t, okay? I don’t know the difference until I take a bite and think “Ah, I must prefer the other kind, the kind that I didn’t buy!” I wish I didn’t enjoy apples, but I’m a simple person who likes complicated fruit.
Why can’t I just eat bananas? They’re all the same, literally clones of each other, bunched up near a sign that only says “BANANAS,” one word, no differentiation, nothing to worry about except how many you can eat before they rebel against you and rot on the countertop.
But bananas don’t keep the doctor away, do they?
There’s probably a doctor in this grocery store right now, thinking “That poor fellow is having a panic attack in the produce aisle.” And then she’s laughing because she knows Cripps Pink are her favorite.
Cripps Pink! Maybe that’s it.
Or is it Rome?