$80 mango
March 28, 2017 12:23 AM   Subscribe

Jared Rydelek reviews exotic fruit. Why fruit? Finding exotic fruit that is unavailable to the rest of the world is a bit like a treasure hunt. Finding something I never knew existed is a thrilling experience whether or not the fruit actually tastes good. Some of the fruits I find are tasty, some are disgusting, some are dangerous to eat, but all of them are interesting. Here is his review of the $80 mango. (Via).
posted by growabrain (58 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yeah... I'm starting to get a bit tired of people making a big deal about eating durians
posted by destrius at 1:08 AM on March 28, 2017 [8 favorites]


me not liking berries

After 7 years of buying berries for my (non-Indian) family, I finally confessed that I Can't Stand Them. They were horrified.
posted by dhruva at 1:11 AM on March 28, 2017


They're not super great videos overall, though I will grant that I appreciated his review of the gros michel banana if only because he notes that it's got a bit of an overinflated reputation mainly because it's all but unavailable in the US, and that it's merely good, but by no means spectacular.

This all makes me think of how I'd love to see someone do "unboxing" videos with the same degree of obsessive care as the real thing, except for fruit being peeled.
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:39 AM on March 28, 2017 [2 favorites]


[One deleted. Totally cromulent to make a point about how what is exotic / weird to some is totally "home" and comforting / normal to others! But maybe a little more explication would help the discussion get off to a better start. ]
posted by taz (staff) at 2:00 AM on March 28, 2017 [4 favorites]


Uh, "what is exotic / weird to some is totally "home" and comforting / normal to others"? Which yes is my point, though I'm a little troubled that I'm having to explain and educate on how this is yet another example of (primarily) White people exotifying The Other (and profiting from it) for my comment to have to stand.
posted by divabat at 2:11 AM on March 28, 2017 [19 favorites]


I would be very excited to Explain Apples if anyone from a tropical climate is interested. My inability to get decent apples in Thailand caused me no little angst, and I wept bitter, bitter tears as I guzzled down mangosteens, tamarinds, those funny-shaped prickly ones whose name I have forgotten, and a zillion varieties of mango. I couldn't get into durians, though, maybe I just never got a good one.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:49 AM on March 28, 2017 [4 favorites]


$80??? In Malaysia they were the cheap fruit, usually something like $3 for a few kilos IIRC. Now, oranges and apples? This is going to cost you...
posted by Meatbomb at 2:49 AM on March 28, 2017


I'm sure it's delicious but as a North Queenslander the colouration of the skin looks way overripe and the colour of the flesh looks way underripe. It is probably the most aesthetically-pleasing mango I've ever seen, however, with its perfect shape and uniformity of colour, and is obviously minimally fibrous - the curse of the mango-eater is mango fibres wedged deep in every tooth! I prefer a crosshatch slice for my mangoes but his method is acceptable. All in all a 7/10, would mango again.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:54 AM on March 28, 2017 [7 favorites]


those funny-shaped prickly ones whose name I have forgotten

Rambutans?
posted by Mister Bijou at 2:54 AM on March 28, 2017 [4 favorites]


No, I'm not actually a fan of rambutans. They look too much like body parts. The ones I'm thinking of are apparently salak. They weren't my favorite, which would have to be mangosteens, but they're fruit and I really do like eating fruit.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:00 AM on March 28, 2017


Joe in Australia, do you mean rambutans?* I love rambutans. Almost as good as an ice-cold lychee.

After the Vietnam war there were (obviously) a ton of displaced Vietnamese folk who emigrated to Australia looking for opportunity. We still allowed immigrants opportunities back then, and I don't know how it happened exactly but my parents ended up employing a Vietnamese couple, Sompong and Banjong (wrong spelling I'm sure, I only ever spoke their names aloud), who I guess would have been in their late 30s, early 40s?

Sompong helped with household chores (laundry etc.) for my parents and a few other families from I guess the same church or religious organisation or whatever that my parents belonged to, and Banjong helped in the yard and with other external maintenance-type things. They were a lovely couple, spoke not a lick of English, but very quickly picked up enough to get by.

Anyway, long story short, via this mechanism of opportunity, and of course their own diligence and hard work, they eventually saved enough money to open a very small Asian supermarket/importing concern in a shitty little shopping arcade in a shitty suburb down the road from us. It was the first of its kind in Townsville and probably even North Queensland, and within a few years they had quadrupled in size, moved to their own custom-built building, and were fucking LOADED.

Mum and I would pop in to say hello to Sompong behind the counter and she was always all smiles and ecstatic shrieks, picking things from the shelves almost at random and handing them to us. There were these big tins of wafer creme biscuits that were THE BOMB. Sweet frozen egg custard roles were another of my favourites. And every single year at Christmas, when the shipments came in, we got handed a massive tray of chilled, hand-selected lychees. No matter how many members of our family were visiting, and how many of these things we ate every day, those lychees lasted us well into the New Year, and were the sweetest and most deliciously perfect lychees I've ever eaten.

*On non-preview, no, I guess you don't mean rambutans.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:09 AM on March 28, 2017 [25 favorites]


My weirdest fruit experience is definitely the medlar. Not the flavour or texture or anything, it was all pleasant enough, but the fact that you are supposed to let it rot before eating.
posted by tavegyl at 3:28 AM on March 28, 2017 [2 favorites]


There is a fruit that I ate when staying at my parent's house in Malaysia which I have never seen anywhere else (admittedly it was on a fruit farm tour). I think it is called a longsat and is a little brown chap that tastes like lemon drops inside.

Also, reminds me of accidentally buying 3kg of mangosteen because we misunderstood the exchange rate and relative cost of mangosteen (very very expensive in London, really really not expensive in Thailand).

I was actually thinking about trying to set up "fruit club" whereby every month or so we'd rent a room in a pub and buy in all the fruits that are not on general sale in the London (and thus are outrageously expensive to buy 1 person's worth) and then everyone gets a whole bunch of interesting fruits to try.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:40 AM on March 28, 2017 [4 favorites]


I don't know Medlar but some folks are very happy with fruit that's "aged" to just before it's gone off, my SO almost grabs from my hand stuff I'm tossing out. I deeply love raspberries but anything older than plucked directly from the bush is a concession viewed suspiciously.

I was looking up what exactly an Etrog was once and just stunned at the incredibly varieties of fruits that just are not cultivated anywhere than a rare plants academic gardens.

(I also have a funny Durian story but I'll spare you all :-) (it smells like diesel fuel)
posted by sammyo at 3:44 AM on March 28, 2017


Oh, in fact, here you go, Duku / Langsat. Cool.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:46 AM on March 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


Etrogs (citrons) smell nice but they have little or no flesh, and the only really edible bit is the peel. You can candy it, or make marmalade from it. Another interesting (and really freaky-looking) citrus fruit is the Buddha's Hands. Things like that just shouldn't be.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:00 AM on March 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


Slightly tangential, but we took part (i.e. ate a lot) in last year's Apple Day. The sheer range of flavours available in the varieties was an eye-opener – and they were all grown (and mostly bred) in the UK, but the power of the supermarkets means you're often lucky to see a russet, never mind an Ashmead Periwinkle or Milngavie Peculiar.

Apple varieties cited above may be fictitious – I can't find the names
of the ones we had!

posted by mushhushshu at 4:13 AM on March 28, 2017 [3 favorites]


Was wondering, while RTFA, whether this wasn't a sign of a post industrial/post everything decadence trajectory wealthy geriatric economy? In science fiction it certainly would have been.
posted by infini at 4:32 AM on March 28, 2017


Salal berries were a part of my childhood here in the Pacific NW, and I was shocked as a young adult to realize you couldn't get them anywhere else (although England uses the bush as an ornamental plant apparently). I don't believe they're well known here either. As a result I've often wondered what other regional varieties exist that don't spread across different kinds of borders, and so I'm happy to see this (and the recent Pawpaw post here on metafilter.

His latest video is of heirloom tomatoes, which physically repulse me and I've never knowingly had one. All the Nightshade family skirts close to the line for me (that raw scratchy bitterness), and so the green in so many heirloom tomato skins put me off the entire lot. Besides that, I've never been scared to try any fruit I can put my fingers in.
posted by tychotesla at 4:32 AM on March 28, 2017


As for berries *rolls eyes* you have no idea how many times I've politely nodded and grimaced my way through myriads of Finnish dessert times essentially consisting of handpicked natural berries that tend to be far to sour for me to swallow.
posted by infini at 4:34 AM on March 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


$80??? In Malaysia they were the cheap fruit, usually something like $3 for a few kilos IIRC. Now, oranges and apples? This is going to cost you...

A friend of mine who grew up in Queensland said that the local council had to put stickers on household rubbish bins telling people not to put unwanted mangoes from their backyard mango trees in the bins, because it made them too heavy to lift.

(Mango trees were/are ubiquitous in (parts of) Queensland. A lot of the mangoes they produce aren't particularly tasty, and are referred to as “turpentine mangoes”, presumably because that's their only use.)
posted by acb at 5:39 AM on March 28, 2017 [2 favorites]


Salal berries were a part of my childhood here in the Pacific NW

Wait what?? those are NOT poisonous? grrr another thing I missed out in my childhood.
posted by sammyo at 5:44 AM on March 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'll admit I skipped around and didn't watch entire videos (because these aren't exactly concise), but I was happy to see one about Osage Oranges; they're all over my local park and all I know is that squirrels kind of demolish them but mostly just leave them on the ground, and my grandma used to have some in a bowl and she said they repelled insects. I learned from the video that they're not good to eat. At least they look neat.

(I'm with you, divabat, on the "weird/exotic" thing. The fruits local to me that he's reviewed are not exactly mainstream, but "exotic" is pretty loaded and "weird" feels like it's always based in a really limited worldview.)
posted by jeweled accumulation at 5:50 AM on March 28, 2017 [3 favorites]


Like Divabat, I found the framing of this video series pretty problematic. I think it would be better as a series of fruit reviews, without the exotification, and obviously after reviewing a dozen or so fruit, you are going to have included some that any viewer will be less familiar with, whether because they are fruit with a very restricted climate or region, or just because they are unpopular in the countries of some of your viewers.

Finding new fruit I haven't tried before is one of my favourite things, though. I was so excited the first time I found fresh dates at a market (in Paris) and got to try something that was crunchy but still had that date flavour. And from travelling in more tropical climates, my favourites are the good old mango (which excitingly grows in our current location - all our neighbours have giant mango trees), but also the salak. Bonus: you can survive on salaks for more than a week with barely any other food when you are trapped on fieldwork with a colleague who refuses to stop work to eat, like, ever, and that's all you have in your bag. However, they completely rip up the skin on your fingers with their kind of cactus-like spiney shell.
posted by lollusc at 5:53 AM on March 28, 2017 [5 favorites]


$80??? In Malaysia they were the cheap fruit, usually something like $3 for a few kilos IIRC.

Actually, 75$ of that is for the packaging.
posted by sour cream at 6:22 AM on March 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


Isn't Osage Orange one of those fruits that evolved for extinct megafauna? (Probably for the giant ground sloth because that's my favorite extinct megafauna so I recall more random facts about it.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:01 AM on March 28, 2017


I was thinking about an FPP about the pretty dedicated world of heirloom fruit hunting. Here are some links for those interested in the drive away from monoculture:

Mother Orchard Project
The Hunt for the Tinmouth Apple
The Hunt for Spanish Heirlooms
Apple Seach a site dedicated to finding lost apples and coordinating that search
Another article on heirloom apple hunting.

It is an active community for those who want to drive the roads combining a love of the fruit, the mystery of the lost and found and for those who want to things.

One of the great things about living in various places is what amazing varieties of fruit are available. When I was in the UK, people were particular about their apples and potatoes. I really dig going to markets and grocery stores with always Brillat-Savarin whispering that I will know you by what you eat.
posted by jadepearl at 7:07 AM on March 28, 2017 [9 favorites]


This reminded of a previous FPP with Kids in the Hall member Scott Thompson's reviews of fruits.
posted by msbrauer at 7:26 AM on March 28, 2017 [2 favorites]


Wintergreen berries grow all over the place in Mid and Northern Ontario, but as far as I know they don't have a commercial market. The berries and the leaves of the plant have a very pleasant mint flavour. They're my favourite "secret magic food from the forest".
But having read the Wikipedia link, I won't think about making tea from the leaves anymore
posted by Popular Ethics at 7:34 AM on March 28, 2017 [2 favorites]


Salal berries Salal berries make better blueberry pancakes than blueberries.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 7:46 AM on March 28, 2017


Salal berries? Well, I'lll be! And thimbleberries are edible too? I need to educate myself!
posted by wotsac at 7:56 AM on March 28, 2017


For what it is worth, I agree that the framing of the reviews could have been a lot better than "weird" and "exotic."
posted by Dip Flash at 8:04 AM on March 28, 2017


jadepearl: I was thinking about an FPP about the pretty dedicated world of heirloom fruit hunting.

Oh, please do. We have a very old apple tree in our backyard, which is aging badly, but still produces huge numbers of these sweet-tart apples every other year. It's likely some heirloom variety, but I don't know what/how rare and I'd love pointers to groups who might check if it was worth saving grafts or clippings.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:14 AM on March 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


Wait, what? Dates are crunchy ?!!? srsly omg wtf brb need to update life goals to include eating fresh dates
posted by Fig at 8:16 AM on March 28, 2017


I dated a guy a number of years ago who had such a strong preference for manila mangoes that he did not eat any other kind. He was missing out, apparently.

(This was a long time ago, where I was unaware that there was more than one kind of mango, and thought he was a bit pretentious to make trips to specialty stores to get the fancy mangoes when the ones at the store down the street were just fine. With some aging and maybe getting more pretentious myself, I understand. I don't refuse to eat the standard mango though, whereas he did)

(also, this guy went on to do big things (his name/work actually came up here on the blue, which freaked me the f out!), so maybe his extreme mango preferences are actually a feature, not a flaw. Who knows)
posted by Fig at 8:24 AM on March 28, 2017


Far far too sweet for me to enjoy.

My best mango cost something like $0.10 on the street in Honduras, a green mango pre-sliced thin in a plastic bag with very light chili powder. Sour, crunchy, not fibrous, and just perfect. I have never quite managed to replicate it, probably caught the local variety at just the right time and the vendor probably picked it from a tree earlier that day.
posted by joeyh at 8:49 AM on March 28, 2017


Reminds me of something said in the UK media a couple of years back (I forget who said it and where it was said, but the person was a UK national of Pakistani origin). Mangoes in the UK just didn't taste as good to them as they did in Pakistan – and that was simply because a fresh-from-the-farm mango is impossible in the UK. I assume freshly picked bananas are very different for the same reason.
posted by mushhushshu at 9:04 AM on March 28, 2017


I just wish I could taste properly in-season, ripe tropical fruits, maybe in the varieties that haven't been selected for how well they ship to supermarkets. I wish this because I know very well the vast distance between "ripe unstored, unshipped, Winesap apple from my local Pennsylvania orchard in the third week of October" and "cold-storage Gala from the supermarket in March" -- it's about the distance from here to the moon. It makes me wonder what a proper mango tastes like. Or a proper banana. Or a really ripe pineapple.
posted by which_chick at 9:27 AM on March 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


Please fix the title. None of those fruits are at all erotic.

Oh, wait...

As you were.
posted by etherist at 9:57 AM on March 28, 2017


thimbleberries are edible too? I need to educate myself!

You can get wild thimbleberry jam from the delightful American Spoon.

Michigan is a seriously underrated source of fruit.
posted by praemunire at 10:11 AM on March 28, 2017


(I also have a funny Durian story but I'll spare you all :-) (it smells like diesel fuel)
Ohhh you got a good one!
posted by boilermonster at 10:19 AM on March 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


Now I want a $100 smoothie.
posted by Sphinx at 12:06 PM on March 28, 2017


I'm a little troubled that I'm having to explain and educate on how this is yet another example of (primarily) White people exotifying The Other

Just FYI, some of these fruits are commercially-invented hybrids and/or otherwise products of agribusiness brands. I don't think your thesis is very defensible here. Pineberries are "The Other" for everyone, and they are not unique to or rooted in a culture other than global commerce.

I'm all in favor of people exulting in the surprise of the unfamiliar. That is not "exotifying The Other."
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 12:13 PM on March 28, 2017 [4 favorites]


Just before Chinese New Years, I was at a local family-run ethnic produce/grocery and saw these fantastic gorgeous massive mutant mangoes from Australia - they were almost as big as my head!

Picked up three, intending them as a CNY present to my mom. Brought them up to the checkout and the lady was, "You know that's going to be $70+ for the three of those, right."

Uh, er, yeah. I totally did read the pricetag. Right. Ok, this is fine.

But you know what? Normally giant fruits tend to be bland and flavourless but these! These were creamy as custard yet firm and intensely aromatic and flavourful.

Would overspend on those mangoes again.
posted by porpoise at 2:32 PM on March 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


This Slate article about super-premium fruit in Japan coincidentally just came across my feeds:
I order Sembikiya’s signature $22 fruit plate. It comes with one-third of a banana; three slices each of persimmon, orange, pineapple, kiwi, and mango; three partially peeled grapes; and one inch-and-a-half–wide rind of muskmelon. I began with a taste of what Monozumi referred to as “more like a commoner’s fruit”: the banana. It has a rich, nutty flavor, with the most concentrated banana essence I’ve ever tasted. The mango is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The grapes, a revelation. I save the muskmelon for last, giddy to try it after hearing about all the melons that had been sacrificed to bring me this bite. It has a vague pumpkin odor and is served properly chilled. But it is a disappointment. It tastes like melon. Sweet, yes, but not especially so. Even a little watery.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:48 PM on March 28, 2017 [3 favorites]


Also, I have SO MANY QUESTIONS about those Buddha's Hands, starting with But WHY does the fruit open as it ripens? and probably ending up at Can I grow that here?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:51 PM on March 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


you are supposed to let it rot before eating.


As I insist with delicious persimmons, it is not rotting, it is bletting.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:18 PM on March 28, 2017


whether this wasn't a sign of a post industrial/post everything decadence trajectory wealthy geriatric economy

In the Japanese tradition, as Eyebrows links above, it's a function of "gift-giving culture" meets "everybody lives in smaller spaces" culture - which effectively kills knick knacks dead.

I myself at a ten dollar apple in Japan (Was a good apple, and gigantic, but still... ten bucks??), but I can't help wonder how much expensive fruit is a psychosomatic experience as well.
posted by smoke at 4:40 PM on March 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


Oh man, Buddha's hand is so cool overall. They're great for stuff like limoncello where you only really want the peel and not the fruit, since they're basically the exact opposite of your standard citrus fruit (which, being roughly spheroid, have pretty much the minimum possible amount of surface area for their volume). I've only ever seen them a few times at Wegmans, and never again.

Incidentally, I suspect that part of why fruit in Japan has a way of being more expensive is more a combination of tending to aim to grow really huge, fancy fruit (seriously, apples the size of grapefruit) and the fact that produce in Japan is grown by people who are generally compensated for their time in a manner that doesn't round off to "slave labor."
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:14 PM on March 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


My favorite hard to find where I live and strange looking fruit is the jabuticaba.
posted by SyraCarol at 5:25 PM on March 28, 2017


it's a function of "gift-giving culture" meets "everybody lives in smaller spaces" culture - which effectively kills knick knacks dead

Yeah, giving food as omiyage (gifts, which are expected in a _lot_ of situations) is much better than giving knick-knacks, since you'll be giving/getting a _lot_ of omiyage. So Japanese department stores have huge sections of gift food items (fruit, chocolate, meat, mochi, etc).
posted by thefoxgod at 5:27 PM on March 28, 2017 [4 favorites]


On the topic of exotifying fruit, there's probably a story to be written about how it affects tropical cultures. Here in Singapore, if i go into any regular supermarket, what do I see in the fruit section? Rows of apples, oranges, strawberries, blueberries. The local fruits are there, but they are far fewer than the "normal" stuff. You can buy excellent tropical fruits from dedicated fruit stalls, usually in the markets, but for most working people, they'll be doing their shopping in the supermarkets and buying mealy peaches instead of sweet papayas.

Ask any random kid to name a fruit and they'll be more likely to say "apple" than "langsat". I think we've begun to see our own fruits as weird and unusual too. To be granted, a lot of this is due to economics (lack of large supply chains supplying local fruits as opposed to foreign ones). But it is kind of silly.

And of course, it also means that we're frequently eating inferior versions of those "normal" fruit. Imagine being in the Bay Area in fall but only eating bland mangoes shipped from half the world away.
posted by destrius at 5:59 PM on March 28, 2017 [6 favorites]


Just FYI, some of these fruits are commercially-invented hybrids and/or otherwise products of agribusiness brands. I don't think your thesis is very defensible here. Pineberries are "The Other" for everyone, and they are not unique to or rooted in a culture other than global commerce.

I think it's unfair to say divabat's thesis isn't defensible when her original comment was deleted and her actual original thesis is missing from the conversation, but...

Yeah, there are plenty of fancy new hybrids and genuinely hard-to-find hyperlocal varieties in Jared's reviews, but also many fruits that are staples in the diets of millions, if not hundreds of millions of people--breadfruit and plantains are staple foods in the stricter sense of the term, just to call out two particular examples--and calling them "weird" positions all those people as "abnormal" relative to the speaker's (and implied audience's) "normal." Like jeweled accumulations says, it's a limited worldview at best--and if anything, counterproductive to stepping outside of one's safety zone. I'm sure his intentions are benign, but there's a wider cultural context of Westerners exotifying and fetishizing the consumption of "foreign" foods they like and deriding the foods they don't like (and by extension, the people who eat those foods) with near-ritualistic fervor.

I'm not kidding about the ritualism, either--I can understand people not liking durian (I suspect there's a genetic component, actually, similar to cilantro etc), but the way (usually) white Westerners feel compelled to make a such a performance over the grossness of durian (as we can see a couple of examples of in this thread already) is...well, weird. And yes, extremely tiresome.

(nb. I'm a Westerner of mixed SE Asian descent -- SE Asian MeFites, if I'm way off base here and need to back off, feel free to tell me!)
posted by bettafish at 6:30 PM on March 28, 2017 [3 favorites]


And he's making money off it! His Patreon nets just under $150 per video. Like damn I'll eat some berries and perform my distaste for them for $150!

Durian's almost always in those "zomg fearsome fruit" things too. I remember an episode of Fear Factor from ages ago where the task was to drink a smoothie made from a bunch of "weird ingredients" chosen by dice roll. Everything else was various kinds of offal, and then there was - dun dun DUNNNNNN - DURIAN. And I'm sitting here going "dude if you don't want the durian I'll take it off your hands mmm"
posted by divabat at 6:56 PM on March 28, 2017 [3 favorites]


Yeah, as a South Asian who has lived in SE Asia, Europe and the US, I find this a style of humorous and generally well-intentioned othering that nevertheless remains othering.*

Look at how the obsession with toilet practices has changed, for example - a decade or so ago it was 'ew gross, they use water', now it has a tinge of being a marker of cosmopolitanism as we've seen on Metafilter threads - 'I'm so sophisticated I've adopted this weird practice'. Either way, it's a way of framing practices as out of the ordinary which feels (to this outsider) as inherently different from an acceptance that there are different ways of doing things and each way is (within a particular context) ordinary, not extraordinary.

As for fruit - yes, the way people talk about durian is weird, and I say this as someone who had never encountered durian till well after reaching adulthood. See also pulut, natto, or many offal-based foods, which all get that same double-sided reaction: they are expected to evoke horror on one hand and fetishized as a marker of cosmpolitanism on the other. That's why, earlier in this thread, I didn't want to mention my own amusing first encounter with durian when I had never heard of it at all (and there is no denying it was a shock to the senses), and instead in this thread mentioned that most European fruit, if little known today, the medlar.

This is not intended as a criticism of those in this thread or of the idea of the videos, so much as how the videos themselves are framed which is symptomatic of broader discourse. Of course there are fruits that I have never encountered and one of the great pleasures of travelling is to try things that one would never experience otherwise. I was definitely curious about the $80 mango and wondered how it compared to the ones I've grown up with, whilst knowing I'd probably never get to try one myself. What I, and I think others in this thread object to, is the othering: of labelling things implicitly or explicitly, positively or negatively, as weird or exotic. It divides the world into normal/ abnormal, instead of accepting it as incredible diverse.

Destrius' point about how 'normal' is 'normal Anglo-American' is also a good one. It reminds me of being a child and writing stories at school with characters with names like Peter and Jane, because that it what characters in stories were called. Now that was a relic of colonialism, but there is a more insidious cultural colonialism and a colonialism of discourse at play in the world today, accelerated by the internet, and I think it's reflected in what we increasingly, globally, consider 'normal' or 'cool' and how we understand difference. One of the results is that we, who are outside the Anglo-American sphere, come to regard ourselves as different from the normal.

And having written this screed I see that I've basically repeated what bettafish has said more concisely and elegantly, but the sunk cost fallacy now comes into play so I shall press 'post' anyway.

*I also think that I've seen it more often in the American sphere than anywhere else - see also the reflexive jokes about bad English food - though this might be confirmation bias so I won't push the point.
posted by tavegyl at 7:34 PM on March 28, 2017 [6 favorites]


tavegyl and divabat, thank you for some excellent and insightful commentary on the
"exotic" and "the other" in relation to fruit.

I love fruit. I want to try all the fruit.
posted by daybeforetheday at 12:00 AM on March 30, 2017 [2 favorites]


but for most working people, they'll be doing their shopping in the supermarkets and buying mealy peaches instead of sweet papayas.

Didn't think of that. I'm of the older generation whose mum still goes early morniing to the pasar and buys fresh papaya for daily breakfast. er, not every morning of course
posted by infini at 9:58 AM on March 30, 2017


I'm jealous of your mum, infini--papaya is one of the fruits that occasionally makes me curse living in a temperate climate. (Although, on the flip side...black- and redcurrants! Hmm.)
posted by bettafish at 7:47 PM on March 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


« Older O Fortuna, the WTF? version   |   Forbearance Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments