Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fruit. And vegetables.*

*THEY'RE THE SAME THING HALF THE TIME ANYWAY and also this post is probably better if you're a little bit tipsy

I was round at Andrea's this afternoon having a nice glass of wine, and the conversation turned to fruit (Andrea has a tomato plant). I am completely sick of vegetables being fruit and fruit being vegetables and berries not being berries after all (that's right, this post is going to turn your whole world on its head). I have a list in my head of Fruit, Vegetables, and Berries and now it turns out that that list is completely wrong and also I am slightly drunk. But anyway. Fruit.

Tomatoes and avocados (why are the plurals spelt differently?) and, to a point, cucumbers I can handle being savoury fruits or, as I like to call them, 'pretend vegetables.' (Although Andrea doesn't like tomatoes because they resemble tumorous breasts and I don't like cucumbers because they are slimy and also like a willy in other ways.) But I am mildly ok with them being all "I'm an individual and not a vegetable like you guys." (Except there was a legal ruling in the States that although the tomato is technically a fruit everyone feels it is really more of a vegetable, and so it is taxed as a vegetable. Thank you America, you are a great country.)

But it gets weird when I say Think Of A Berry! and you say Strawberry! and I say, seriously man? That's not a berry, that is a fruit. Some examples of berries which are able to behave themselves and actually be berries are rasp and black and boysen and elder and cran and salmon. (What? There is one.) Strawberries? Fruit. What are you doing, strawberries? You are pretty much the international ambassador for berries and all this time you have been a fruit? This is like if Ellen married a dude. Citrus fruits are more like berries than you are, you fucking fraud. On which note, why are grapefruit called that? It is not like they are remotely like grapes. They are not even the fruit version of grapes! Because grapes are already a fruit!

Or so I thought.

Turns out, grapes is berries. So it follows that raisins made from grapes are dried berries. But before you start thinking oh, that makes sense, raisins from the Raisin Tree (go on, look it up, it's real) are fruit. What is going on here? Someone do something! But not one of you people who think that bananas is berries too. I hate everything you stand for. If bananas is berries, nothing will ever be right again. Hold on. Tomatoes is berries. Fuck that.

The vegetable world is fighting back, though. It has claimed seaweed as one of its own. Even though seaweed is not a vegetable (if you ignore for a moment the fact that technically it is). Seaweed is blatantly a weed that grows in the sea. (The clue is in the name.) Here is a fact about vegetables: Vegetables. Grow. In. Dirt. (I have extreme acceptance issues with hydroponics). You can't make seaweed a vegetable! This is madness! This has gone far enough. It's time for some reason. It's time for stone fruit.

Stone fruit (in science terms, drupes, because the leaves are drupey) are ok. Stone fruit are logical. Stone fruit provide a moment of sanity in a mad, mad fruit and vegetable world. Everything you think is stone fruit is stone fruit. Peaches. Plums. Cherries. Apricots. Nectarines. Olives. Coconuts. Wait a minute. Shit.

Also! I have questions about melons, which grow like pumpkins, which means that pumpkins are fruit too, which is awful because to me pumpkins always seemed like such a solid vegetable! It is like a huge conspiracy. (Unrelatedly, there is a type of melon called Honey Balls. Did one of the other melons give it this nickname, only to have it picked up by the vegetable - sorry, fruit - paparazzi?
Is everyone involved mildly embarrassed?)

And then you get to actual proper vegetables and shit gets crazy because of peas - why do peas grow like that nothing else grows like that wait broad beans let's disregard them they're gross.

Also why do we have 'leaf vegetables' (spinach, I'm looking at you)? What is wrong with us? Why do we eat the roots of carrots and not the leaves of carrots? Who was in charge of these decisions?

And another thing: why is corn a vegetable? Corn is a grain! Like rye and hops and other stuff you make booze out of. Why is there no corn whiskey? Is there corn whiskey? Gross. Vodka is a vegetable because potatoes are a tuber, which is my favourite vegetable. To say. Toooo-berrrr. Say it with me.

Wait wait wait, recent research (I looked on Wikipedia) has revealed that corn is a seed sort of vegetable like peas and beans (but not the beans which are legumes, they are other beans, and not soybeans, they are fruit. God damn it, soybeans. I don't understand why you have to be like this. You are the Nicolas Cage of the vegetable fruit food world. Stop it.)

Don't even get me started on "WHOLE-PLANT SPROUTS." Which are completely unlike bean sprouts, but by now I am not surprised by anything, uh, fruit-and-vege-related. Except that cacti are fruit sometimes. Or is it vegetables? I forget, but the point is that tequila is now part of a balanced diet. (I am drinking Baileys. That's dairy.)

I am leaving nuts out of this for now (how the crap are peanuts a fruit? Half of their name is 'nut!' Are all nuts fruits? I just don't care any more) but I can't not mention the weirdest thing we eat ever.

It is fungus. Mushrooms. Truffles. Why do we eat these? How did this start? "Oh, hey man, you know that stuff that grows between your toes? I found a really big one. Let's eat it."
(Loosely related is Andrea's take on sour cream: "Oh, this cream has gone off. Let's put it on a taco!")

In conclusion: tomatoes are berries and seaweed is a vegetable and pumpkin is a fruit and everything I believed in is a lie. Fuck you, fruit and vegetable kingdom. Fuck you.


sleep500 said...

Haven't finished reading but "grapes is berries"?


a cat of impossible colour said...

This is your best post ever.

Selina said...

I laughed out loud several times reading this. More people should blog when they're drunk!

Also, an Australian friend of mine informed me the other day that there is a type of wallaby over there called a Paddymelon. So ... Marsupials = Fruit.

Andrea Staats said...

I knew that fruit comes from a flower, and a vegetable doesn't, but now I find that berries are something different altogether?

Also: spaghetti squash is a fruit (I think). I find that revolting.

apple cheeked, potato shaped girl said...

I don't want to push you over the edge but you may find that some of those berry berries are infact drupes.

Oh and just for your personal entertainment the 'it's just not cricket" incident has popped but up just to make my transition from private but opinionated citizen to serious objective journalist, more "fun"

Thats right that "bug" has a public profile, why has this taken me three years to work it out? - I don't really pay attention to the "nature and environmental" section of the media.

a quick google search tells me that this wont be the last i hear of the damn cricket. Crap Crap Crap.

God damn small country. - oh also found establishment guy - he came up in a facebook ad. - "add as a friend you know the same person bla" WTF. mutual friend is from USA and he is from UK. didn't see that comming.

Ok you can stop laughing

apple cheeked, potato shaped girl said...

ok probably millions of typos but can't be arsed fixing any as can't back space at this time of night.

Joff said...

This is the single greatest thing I have read all year. Not joking.


Anonymous said...

I just read this aloud to my roomie for entertainment, totally blog drunk more often!! Hilarious!!

Michelle said...

@ Selina - 'pademelon', not quite as good as 'paddy mellon' but perhaps equally as tasty?

@ Ally. Ha ha ha ha ha. That was so funny I nearly died. Thank you =D

Josh said...

Fungi are more related to animals than they are to plants!
Kind of makes sense when you think about how they get their food - they secrete digestive enzymes out of their cells to break down the material around them then absorb it - which is sort of like what happens in our stomach/small intestine...

I would like to point you towards http://xkcd.com/388/ if you have not seen it already


chris.dadness said...

It's about time someone called fruit and vegetables out. It's a damning indictiment of the ag. sci. community that it took a pissed blogger to do it.

Tooting Squared said...

Can I ask a question about seedless grapes?

Mrs. L said...

Yep. What they all said.

EmcogNEATO! said...

I, too, love the line "grapes is berries." And Mrs. L sent me.

Donna said...

Obviously you've never tasted the leaves of a carrot.

Nicola said...

This is one of the most brilliant posts I have ever read. I am totally confused, obviously. Need to get drinking more dairy...and maybe this will all make sense. Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic. Thank you!

Bucca said...

lol too funny!

Anonymous said...

This is so wonderfully hilarious! Hahahhahaha

otherworldlyone said...

My head is spinning around on my neck, but at least I'm laughing!

Great post.

Ketterperson said...

Of course there's whiskey made from corn. Despite the fact that prohibition has long been over, corn meal is still being made into moonshine, or White Lightnin', or any of a dozen other names.

This was a great article! Thanks for the laughs!

Paul said...

Brilliant post. Recently, I tried to find a definition of 'tree' and found instead that pretty-much anything that grows out of the ground to a reasonable size can be a tree.

Libby said...

A friend sent me this link; I'm so glad she did. That was very entertaining, and I'm *not* drunk.
But I do like Baileys. Good choice.

IT IS ALLY said...

Thank you everyone! I'm glad you enjoyed this rant.

Selina - hahaha. Excellent name.

Tooting - why would you do that to me? Why?

Ketterperson - I can't decide if that's terrible or awesome.

Would also direct everyone to that graph Josh linked to.

aleph_naught said...


chris.dadness said...

I like to read it again when I happen to be drunk. Getting the wv right is like walking a straight line for the cops in the oldie days

chris.dadness said...

I just want to comment again so I do not waste the wv which is "cullst".

I am going to dress in shakespearean era costume and go up to some canadian sealers as they club baby harp seals and ask "Cullst thou?"

And maybe turn that whole issue around.