Once a month I wheel my grocery cart into the produce section and fill it with items that I’ve never stuck in my mouth before. This month’s entry is dedicated solely to the unholy love children of the produce section, those mutant spawn that were never meant to be – hybrids!
Back in August I was passing the peaches when I saw a speckled, plum-like fruit. I examined the sticky label and discovered my Kroger had started stocking Dinosaur Eggs. Wow, I thought dinosaurs were extinct! These must be worth millions! Yet, my local supermarket was selling the extinct eggs for less than 6 figures per pound, though they didn’t specify what breed they were. Triceratops? Tyrannasaurus Rex? Upon further research, I learned the Dinosaur Egg is one of at least 13 varieties of the pluot, a cross between a plum and an apricot. Don’t confuse them with the aprium or the plumcot. While I loved the creative marketing, the pluot tasted like a plum to me, just with a cuter name.
After I’d tried orange cauliflower and purple cauliflower, I was comforted by the fact that their demon cousin Broccoflower® was a color more frequently occurring in nature. This combination creature of broccoli and cauliflower is also a good source of Vitamin C and folate, if the package is to be believed. The word “Broccoflower®” is a trademark of Tanimura & Antle. So it’s like the words Kleenex or Xerox or if you want to keep talking food, it’s like Derby Pie, a chocolate, walnut, bourbon pie trademarked by Kern’s Kitchen of Kentucky and named for the Kentucky Derby. You’ll never find a recipe for Derby Pie in a cookbook because of the copyright issues. Instead people rename their Derby Pie recipes something like Pegasus Pie or May Day Pie even though everyone knows it’s a Derby Pie. Just like everyone at the office knows you’re having a Christmas Party even if you call it a Holiday Celebration.
But, I wasn’t eating Derby Pie (sadly enough), I was eating Broccoflower®. And it tasted like cauliflower. It was a let down, really. Mad food scientists are going to all this trouble to combine fruits and vegetables and the results end up tasting no different than their parents.
That is an ugli fruit. I’ll give you three guesses as to why it’s called that. Green, wrinkly people are automatically disqualified. The ugli fruit is from Jamaica and is also called the Uniq fruit. It’s a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine. Mine was a bit larger than a grapefruit, though the label suggested I split it in half like one. When I got it open, I realized it was much easier to just peel it apart like an orange. It also tasted like an orange, just more bitter and tart. It was like an orange dressed up in a frumpy, green suit. If someone had served the pulp to me on a plate, I would have never guessed it was an ugli fruit. The picture on Wikipedia is yellow though, so perhaps mine wasn’t ripe enough.
All in all, the hybrid fruits didn’t seem worth the extra cost I paid for them. They were novelty items that were more fun to buy and look forward to eating than to actually eat. If you’re going to get a hybrid, you should probably stick to a car.