Friday, July 9, 2010

Those Dumb Things That Surprise Me

Who here reading this blog refers to fruit as "hand fruit"?

A few years ago I was at a farm stand with a friend examining the nectarines and she said, "Nectarines are my favorite hand fruit."

I don't know why I found the term, "hand fruit" amusing. I had never heard it before. I thought it was an interesting and accurate turn of phrase. I figured my friend made it up herself. She was an English major. She's bound to come up with perfect descriptive phrases. That's what writers do.

I never really thought much about the term again until the first time I visited the little cafe located in my new office building (the relocated Connecticut office and not the temporary NYC office). I was hungry and wanted a snack and was hoping I could find some fruit there.

They had a display of fruit on a tiered tray and a price list. The list said:

Banana, $.75
Seasonal Hand Fruit $.95

So that phrase "hand fruit" isn't something my friend made up. There is such a thing as a hand fruit. (That day, the fruit in question was peaches and they were darned good peaches.)

Of course, I can't just be satisfied that the term "hand fruit" is one in wide circulation, yet unbeknownst to me. I now have to contemplate what constitutes a "hand fruit".

They refer to the non-bananas as hand fruits, but not the bananas themselves. Does that mean that bananas, even though you eat them out of hand, don't count as hand fruits, or were they merely using the term hand fruit to describe anything that's not the perpetual and cheap banana. You can't eat a banana directly out of hand. You do have to peel it first. Does that mean oranges are not hand fruits either? You not only have to peel them (which is easier to do with a knife), but they're much less messy if you section them first, and it's also advisable to have a plate handy so the juice doesn't get everywhere.

Do grapes and berries count as hand fruits? You can eat them with your hands, and you can even eat them out of hand if you grab a few at a time. Still, they're more like "finger fruits" rigth? I mean, the berries you see at the office cafe are part of a fruit salad. You don't see them on the hand fruit tray.

It's Friday afternoon, the heat wave has not abated, and my brain is finished with doing any hard thinking. The best you're going to get to me is this type of navel contemplation.

Have a great weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Only time I ever heard the term "hand fruit" was in an episode of Seinfeld, when they are all up in the Hamptons and George wants to get some Hampton tomatoes for his mother. He eats one, saying, "I don't know why the tomato never really made it as a hand fruit."