Friday, December 4, 2009

sing a rhyme, citrus time soon will be here

So, it's citrus season, right? Yesterday I drove to Logan to buy some radicchio from Lee's because their produce section is phenomenal. Okay, that may be a little strong. But it's varied like few others unless you're talking about the snobby ones. Their radicchio was not the best, but at least they had some. I'ma roast it like Tipsy said.

Anyway, citrus. One of the other things they had at Lee's yesterday was a display of navel oranges, half boxes of them for $6.99. We ate them for dessert last night, and while I was busy showing off my knowledge of horticulture to the children (which is sort of prodigious, in an ignoramus sort of way), explaining how all navel orange trees everywhere are grafts (or grand-grafts, or great-grand-grafts; I'm not a scientist, I just work here) of the one sport tree that first grew seedless oranges, I learned something TOTALLY FASCINATING. Did you know that the little mini slices in a navel orange are a conjoined twin orange? It's actually a smaller orange formed inside another orange! Biology is the coolest.

Thus, since selective breeding is impossible with the navel orange, every orange you taste is genetically identical to those oranges that grew on the mutant tree in the Brazilian monastery. It's impressive that it's kept up with our growing appetite for sweets, and worrisome, disease-wise. It makes me start fretting about biodiversity and cloned beef ranches--total downer.

Yay oranges!


Jill said...

Thanks for that lesson! I wish I could retain information as well as you do. I just know that when people ask me about oranges,(which they often do) I will stupidly answer, "I think they are juicy... and..uh..that juice tastes yummy"