The best fruits are the ones that I can walk outside, pick and eat. (As my friend likes to say: “Where the time from plant to mouth is measured in milliseconds”.) Right now in my yard that is blueberries, mini Anjou pears and wild Himalayan blackberries.
I also especially enjoy a nice ripe nectarine, but sadly have not had any luck growing them.
@chienfou@Kyeh@show_the_maw Our peaches in NH were all wiped out by an unexpected freeze in May, after some earlier warm weather, so all the trees had budded. And a lot of the apples aren’t doing well, either, so fall won’t be quite the same, either. So sad. The farmers here are having a hell of a year, cuz all that was followed by flooded fields from non-stop rain thru June & July. As if the local farm stands aren’t pricey enough!
@LaserEyes I’d say local Oregon/Washington strawberries. The season is very short (a few weeks) and they are very soft and juicy and don’t store or ship well – one reason you never see them in most grocery stores. Also production is very limited, mostly small family-owned farms. No big ag.
Very different from the ones usually trucked all over the place which are bred for maximum weight, durability, minimal flavor, and ability to hang out in a truck or warehouse for days or weeks at a time.
@dannokun@UncleVinny Yes, cherries, but the Rainier type from Washington – lighter yellow-to-pink varied color.
I have a tree in my yard that had a really good crop, managed to snack on a few while working in the yard, telling myself I had to come back with a ladder to finish a harvest – and then a flock of birds came in and devastated the whole tree – nothing left, leaves and twigs littering the ground after an apparent feeding frenzy.
Of the four listed, I’d have to choose pineapple because it’s the most crucial for tiki drinks. For eating I’d choose peaches (honestly nectarines since they’re the same species and I don’t like the fuzz) because they’re great to eat if you get them in season and time it perfectly. Usually, though, I either wait too long and they get moldy or I don’t wait long enough and they’re crunchy and gross. This season I’m batting .500 on nectarines. I bought two in one trip. A couple days later I saw that one was moldy. I ate the other (non-moldy) one and it was miraculous. I don’t eat a lot of fruit.
Here’s an interesting thing I learned that I hope is true: “fruit” is a botanical term and “vegetable” is a culinary term. That’s why tomatoes (and lots of other examples) can be both.
I have banana plants in my yard around the pool. Though they are primarily ornamental, they do flower and fruit. The flowers are something to behold, about the size of a football and purple. As each set of petals peels back they make a line of fruit and are oriented with the tips pointing UP. They only get a few inches long, and we don’t have a long enough growing season for them to ripen, but they are fun to watch develop. I need to walk around and check to see if any are flowering/fruiting this year. We had a terrible winter and then a late frost so they got knocked back to the ground again so didn’t get as big as usual (over 30 feet).
@chienfou@Kyeh He said the flower develops pointed up, which means it’s an ornamental variety and the fruits are probably astringent and full of seeds. The flower is probably still good, though. Would make a nice base for a curry.
Guess they can’t ripen off the vine/tree? Wow, after Googling it I just learned a whole lot about bananas.
Since I was a little kid I was fascinated with fruit that you could eat right from it’s skin (bananas, oranges etc.) and I remember trying so hard to get them down! Even though I LOVED the flavors it was the texture thing I struggled with.
It wasn’t until the past 5 years or so that I’ve been able to enjoy them without gagging! These days the 2 of us go through about 6 bags of oranges a week!
@chienfou@Kyeh@Lynnerizer@Weboh All of the commercial varieties of banana are harvested dead green, and ripened at their destination via exposure to ethylene gas. If they were even beginning to ripen when harvested, they would be mush before they arrived. My father harvested three large stems of Dwarf Cavendish at the same time one summer, and hung all three in the tool shed - and because they produce ethylene gas when they begin to ripen, and they were in an enclosed space, they all went ripe at the same time. About fifteen hands per stem, and about 20 to 25 bananas per hand.
It’s been a good sixty years since then, and I still have no interest in eating another one. Or a banana split. Or a banana nut muffin. Or banana bread. Or a strawberry-banana concoction of any kind unless the bananas are left out.
@capnjb Yeah that IS a pretty cool fruit. Stores like forever, fun to eat, and a good substitute for Red Dye #2, because you will end up with red stains on your hands, mouth, clothes, furniture, pet, car, pretty much everywhere!
(history quiz: who here remembers the whole Red Dye #2 thing?)
@smyle You are welcome to harvest all you can from my property. But you have to completely clear the invasive thorny blackberry vines because they grow like crazy and pop up everywhere. A month ago I paid $1400 for some gardeners to clear part of the property, and they are already coming back everywhere. (the berries, not the gardeners, but I’m sure they’ll come back too if I pay them again).
@pmarin@smyle Where do you live? I’m in. We had that on the farm. 13 kids could trample them and eat what they wanted and the “aunts” didn’t complain as there were plenty more (well they complained about torn clothes we wore to protect ourselves that would catch on the thorns and the blackberry stains - although running very, very hot water over the stains while fresh got them out). My uncle sprayed round up on them and killed them all. We were all ready to kill him.
If you choose to put round up on the area you don’t want them be careful to do it when it is windless so you don’t get that stuff on you and take a shower right afterwards.
@Kidsandliz@pmarin@smyle The local wild Himalayan blackberries in the PNW enjoy a nice shot of Roundup as a refreshing bracer. We have to spray with Crossbow if we want any hope of discouraging their encroachment. (And even that is hit-or-miss.)
But it’s kind of a love/hate relationship as their berries are delicious.
The bananas that went extinct were far better than the current banana plant that we eat. Of course this one is also working on going extinct too so who knows what we will eat next. My understanding is that this hasn’t been figured out yet. All bananas come from the same original tree and are grafted on trees. I believe it is a fungus that is killing them across a number of countries. Because the ones we eat right now are genetically identical no variation that might have a better chance against it.
@Kidsandliz there are still non-yellow bananas in the world; they often have large seeds inside (and are fuzzy like coconut). But yeah, the banana apocalypse of the 80’s were a thing because 90% of the bananas being grown in the world were the yellow-tiny-seed kind (the big mike-gros; now the Cavendish); artificial banana flavor are based on the 80’s banana.
And the danger to homogenous organic products (including humans) still looms large; a thing that affects one badly will soon affect everything (that was indeed a single fungus strain that just targeted that one fruit; there was no way to keep banana crops safe)
@Kidsandliz The original banana isn’t extinct, it has just been relegated to being a dooryard fruit in places that don’t have the fungus yet. There aren’t many places, but it still does exist. All of the Cavendish bananas in existence are exactly the same because they are grown from shoots, not grafted. If you get a banana tree, and plant it, and it reaches maturity, it will bud off multiple additional bananas at the base. Bananas are not a tree, actually. Their classification is a little different because of a number of things. You can’t graft them. It just doesn’t work. Literally all of the leaves and the stem grow directly from the base, pretty much together.
What has the banana producers terrified is that a new fungus has cropped up that will attack the Cavendish. So far, they have it under reasonable control. When it gets too widespread, they will have to find yet another variety to replace the Cavendish.
@pakopako Yes I knew there were a number of other banana strains around. My casual reading of this was that there were no good (eg as you say small seed, but also relatively compared to the other strains of bananas a larger fruit, will survive shipping reasonably well…) strains around to use. I also gather people are playing with genetics with the banana as well right now.
@werehatrack Yes I had read a few “home plants” are still around, but as a crop they are effectively extinct due to the fungus which apparently also stays in the soil a long time too so you can’t just replant with the same strain.
@Kidsandliz If you aren’t still getting what was supplied by the majority of growers from about 1950 onwards, which is the Cavendish, then your supply chain has probably swapped to the Grand Nain. The die-off of the old Gros Michel variety due to the fungus began in the '40s, and the Cavendish had completely replaced it by about 1955 if I’m recalling the history correctly. My parents and my older brothers experienced the change first-hand; the Gros Michel was just history for me. Digging around a bit, I see that most of the bananas sold under the Chiquita label are apparently Grand Nain now. I had been unaware of that.
@phendrick No, because there aren’t any serpents here, just humans and bots. All of our current problems are caused by eating that fruit, so I think it’s safe to say that’s the worst fruit.
Fruit from the tree of life is the best fruit, though, and it’s still accessible for those who choose it: “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”
Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT