Sizzling Hot Fruit Series

Part I- El Chapo’s Avocado

I loved avocados for a while. I ate at least one a day for a year. Now, I can’t stand the thought of eating one and I don’t know why. Something just clicked, switched. I bought a box of single-serve tubs of guacamole that sat in my fridge for five months after the click. I used those small tubs as a substitute for fresh avocado when I felt lazy. Not that I couldn’t get a fresh one, I just didn’t want to do the work required to clean and open the damn things. Opening a tub of processed guac and scooping it onto eggs is a lot easier and safer than slicing into a fresh avocado. 

People don’t realize that you have to clean the outside of the avocado before you cut into it. The inside is protected by the leathery shell but bacteria can be transferred to it from the outside on the edge of your knife. That’s got to be why so many people get sick at Chipotle. Unwashed avocados (This is an unsubstantiated opinion. It’s a fine restaurant). Anything, regardless of outer layer, must be cleaned with some sort of bacteria-killing wash before it is cut into. Think about how many times Larry who doesn’t wash his hands after going to the toilet in the grocery store squeezes lemons before he finds the perfect one. You don’t want Larry’s wee-wee-hand in your lemonade, do you? 

I like guacamole because the ugly black spots that pepper fresh avocado are mushed out. Good guacamole is a vibrant green, spruced up by fresh lime juice and hopefully free of Larry’s wee-wee. The issue I have with most guacamole in restaurants is that red onions are included in the recipe. I am allergic to red onion. It’s my severest food allergy. In fact, it may be the only one I suffer from besides what I believe to be a mild allergy to scallops. When I eat red onion, my palate is ruined and all I can taste is the onion. Then, itching creeps down my throat for the next few hours. I’m never in danger of anaphylactic shock or my throat closing or anything. But, have you ever experienced the torture of an itch in places inside your head that you can’t scratch? I get that inside my right ear and down my throat when I eat raw red onion. I can eat pickled red onion but not raw. For some reason, the pickling neutralizes the irritant. I pass on pickled red onion. It’s not special. To me, it’s pickled because of red onion’s abhorrent taste. Curing in vinegar makes it edible. If you could tenderize a Michelin Sport to the point it was edible, I think I would pass on that too. 

Because of the red onion and the ugly black spots, I guess my stomach turned on avocado. One day, my subconscious told me not to eat them and I obeyed. I also heard somewhere that they found lead in them or some sort of carcinogen and that typically turns me off whether it’s true or not. Except for tuna. I will ride tuna into an early grave. “They” are the people that find things and then tell you not to eat them for the purposes of brainwashing and clicks. 

This is about avocado. You aren’t focusing. 

Avocados are expensive and ugly and I don’t want them anymore. Google “avocado injuries” and you’ll see the maiming that occurs when dummies try to remove the avocado seed with a large knife like they do on Iron Chef. “Check out Jimmy as he “filets” his pinky finger off deseeding an avocado.” It doesn’t take that much effort to cut into the seed with a knife and twist it out, but people treat this task like the game “Fruit Ninja.” Fiestas are ruined all over the country because of significant blood-loss. 

The Mexican avocado trade is owned by the drug cartels. So is the lime industry. Basically, everything in that table-side guac bowl for two except the vile red onion is sold by vicious drug lords. Why would El Chapo, multi-billionaire, give a care about selling fruit and mushy only-lasts-a-day avocados? Because he can, that’s why. You can’t have happy Manuel the  farmer doing business next to El-fucking-Chapo. No, Manuel is kindly bought out or asked to leave or given a Peruvian necktie and a retirement gift and moved out of the Avocado business. And I can’t think of a better way to smuggle drugs into the United States than under a shit load of fresh, beautiful limes. Or in the tires of the lime trucks or in the assholes of the lime truck drivers. Poor Manuel, his only crime was his love of the fruit business. 

You may continue to eat avocados. I’m not trying to stop you. I am explaining to you why I am out of the avocado eating business. Some of you have taken this avocado thing way too far. I saw a lady on the internet in a bikini made of avocado shells. With those mushy black spots now peppering her breasts. Give me a break. Google it! 

There is no such thing as a miracle food. There are positives and negatives of everything you consume. People awash themselves in avocado and pretend it’s going to keep them alive for a hundred years. Meanwhile, their cholesterol is clogging arteries from all the saturated fat, placing them a skipped beat away from the big sleep. But they will be a corpse laden with Omega-3s, which is nice. Look, if I order an egg plate and it is garnished with a few slices of El Chapo’s avocado, I will still eat them. Nothing wrong with a little bump, a toot of avocado, a little blast from the past. It might be good for me.  

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Part II- Grapefruit

Grapefruit has had a hard decade. Life used to be so good. All through the 50s and 60s, men in suits tucked in to the breakfast table set and cooked by their wives donning house dresses and aprons bought from Sears and Roebuck. A staple on that table, besides the Kent cigarettes and ashtray, was a bowl with a half of a grapefruit in it. Men would sprinkle sugar overtop and then extract each section with a spoon. Then, if he allowed decorum to lapse ever so slightly, he would pick up the grapefruit rind and squeeze the remaining juice into the bowl and drink it down. One last shot of vitamin C to combat the poor effects of the Kents and the scotch he’d be having at lunch. 

There used to be a spoon called “the grapefruit spoon.” No other breakfast item has it’s own utensil. There isn’t an egg fork or a pancake knife. The consortium of whoever decides these things issued legislation that gave the grapefruit its own spoon! Some lady wearing underwear the size of the Mayflower’s mainsail hammered on her gavel, required order and then proposed a new part of the traditional American breakfast table: The Grapefruit Spoon. Florida almost shit itself. 

The grapefruit is durable. It’s not greatly sweet so it doesn’t require much ripening. Rarely is there a “bad” grapefruit. It’s consistent, like Starbucks. Oranges can vary in sweetness and ripeness. Melons, forget it. Most melons taste terrible. The fool’s gold of the fruit cup; the proper color but that’s all. Worthless. Most melons have a similar taste to the plastic fruit wives in the 60s painted because they were desperate for some life in their plastic lives. Honeydew is garbage even when it is ripe. It must be the cheapest melon because it fills fruit cups like styrofoam. Two strawberries, five blueberries, three pieces of cantaloup and 5,000 pieces of honeydew melon cut so big it wouldn’t fit into a largemouth bass’s mouth. Rats must be so sick of eating honeydew out of the trash. 

“Can’t you toss out a grape now and then,” they gripe.

There’s something about that sweet and sour taste that is perfected inside a grapefruit wedge. It tastes delicious for a second and then the acidity hits the back of your throat and your eyes water when you try to hold back the cough. I don’t know if it is the desire for a little pain eased by the pleasure of the sweet or what, but that sweet and sour combo is brilliant. Ask every Chinese restaurant with “II” in their name about the success of sweet and sour. I always wondered about that. “Wok Dragon II” is the name of every Chinese takeout joint. What happened to “I”? Renovated after bad health inspector.  

The grapefruit has had a bad decade because people have forgotten about it. Except for a garnish to vodka, no one eats grapefruit anymore. The last time I ate a grapefruit it ran through me like a California mudslide. My gut bacteria waved it through. That’s good if you are a VIP in a nightclub queue, but not if you are food entering the bowels. You hope food eases into Club Gut, finds a nice table, enjoys the music, does some dancing and then leaves right at last call or after the first cup of coffee. That last grapefruit treated my insides like the Diaz brothers treated the Babylon Club in Scarface.

My favorite La Croix flavor is grapefruit. They put some French word like “Papouseemouse” on it because they are ashamed of making something grapefruit. There’s no grapefruit in it, just chemicals designed to fool your brain, but I don’t mind. There’s more fruit in MawMaw’s plastic fruit paintings than in the pawpoumussess La Croix. The French are so annoying. 

A glass of orange juice has the same sugar content as a regular coke. I don’t know the sugar content of grapefruit juice, but I believe it is similar to orange. At the very least,  grapefruit juice is collateral damage in the war against sugar. Those men in the ties sprinkling sugar onto already sugary grapefruit are all dead. If the Kent’s didn’t kill them, the diabetes did. See, they thought they were being healthy. They thought the eggs and the bacon were the evil on the table and the grapefruit was their crucifix. The power of the grapefruit compels you! Nope. It was the devil in sugary clothing.     

Maybe the grapefruit is due for a revival? Some snappy new chef that is famous for reconstituting chicken beaks also saves the grapefruit by featuring it on Iron Chef. There will be grapefruit salad, grapefruit marinated codfish, grapefruit foam with a cherry mist. Everything grapefruit. His restaurant will be called Grapefruit and he’ll be nominated for a James Beard award. And then it’ll be all over after MeToo checks his Twitter history.

Today, we sit upon the ashes of the grapefruit. It’s mimicked in drinks and splashed into cocktails, but it’s reign is over. The men, the ties, the Kent’s, the spoon, the plastic wives, it’s all done. If the apocalypse comes, then grapefruit will once again be a delicacy treasured for its vitamins and scurvy-cure. Until then, all we have is pawmpamussee.  



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