Monday, February 1, 2010

Ugly Fruit


One of the many reasons why I love Marketplace On Oakton is its varied selection of extremely fresh produce.  It’s so nice being able to get things like gai lon, pea shoots, snow pea leaves, jicama, yuca, taro root, lemongrass, and other such “ethnic” produce without having to drive very far and without having to pay extreme Whole Foods prices.  Lemongrass at Marketplace On Oakton = $1.49/lb.  Lemongrass at Whole Foods = $4.99.  I really hate Whole Foods.

I’ll admit that Marketplace On Oakton pales in comparison to something like a 99 Ranch that I grew up on in California, and H Mart down the road another 10 minutes has a wider array of Asian produce.  However, 75% of the time Marketplace On Oakton will have what I need, and since it caters to Asians, Hispanics, Eastern Europeans, and Desis, it gives me a chance to try things I’ve never tried before.


One such thing I’d never tried before was ugli fruit.  When I saw the sign reading “UGLY FRUIT” I knew I had to try one.  I’m much too immature to ignore a sign like that.  To my dismay and delight, the fruit was misspelled on the sign.  I was bummed that something called “ugly fruit” didn’t exist, but “ugli fruit” was close enough and I love seeing typos in public.


Pretty much everything aside from the taste of the ugli reminded me of a grapefruit; the size, the rind, and the fibrous walls were very similar to that of a grapefruit’s.  I don’t think I ate it at peak ripeness, as there were still green blemishes on the rind and the flavor was pretty muted, but it sort of did taste like a cross between a grapefruit, an orange, and a tangerine as Wikipedia describes it.  I’m glad I was able to try a new fruit, but the ugli fruit’s identity crisis didn’t appeal to me.


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