Nectarines are the world’s most fickle fruit


It’s completely unfair that fruits get lumped in with vegetables all the time. Fruit is much better than even the best vegetable (broccoli with cheese on it). But there is of course a downside to fruit. Mostly, that it’s so fickle. Take, for example, the nectarine. A bite of a ripe nectarine? Perfection. A bite of an unripe nectarine? Kill me. So … are nectarines good or bad? Let’s dive in.

First the pros

Nectarines are colored like a sunset, and sunsets are a universal sign of beauty. That’s why so many picture frames come with sunset pics already in them.

The pit of a nectarine actually contains a tiny bit of cyanide, which is a pro for a couple of reasons. 1. It makes you feel dangerous 2. If you ever find yourself in a Breaking Bad type situation where you need to poison someone without killing him, you’re all set.

Move over fruit snacks! Nectarines have no artificial colors or flavors and you don’t even have to open a little packet or anything. Just dig in.

A quality nectarine’s texture is soft and delicate, yet there’s substance there. It’s not hard, but it’s also not mushy. I don’t know how they do it.

And now for the big one: flavor. The taste of a good nectarine is truly transcendent. It can make you think fruit might actually be an acceptable dessert.

Now for the Cons:

A nectarine is basically the same as a peach and it kinda pisses me off it that acts like a different fruit. Okay one’s fuzzy (peach) and one isn’t (nectarine) but like… some grapes are red and some are green and guess what? We still call ‘em grapes. So let’s get off our high horse shall we, nectarines?

You can’t really eat a nectarine in public. Too messy. (Though that’s not really a problem during the pandemic, who cares if I get nectarine all over my sweatpants?)

The texture of a bad nectarine is that of a sponge someone has dutifully squeezed out.

What about the flavor of a bad nectarine? It’s like a musty church basement, with a 10-year-old air freshener that’s doing it’s best.

And worst of all, there’s no way to know if you’re bringing home a good one or a bad one. They all start off firm, some get soft and perfect, most don’t. (This is perhaps not a true if you live on the west coast or in another fruit-friendly locale, but why would you bring that up? I’m clearly suffering enough, with my humid, gray northeastern summer filled with plain old apple after plain old apple after plain old apple.)

The variation in quality is obviously a con because you don’t want to spend money on, or eat, trash. Especially not surprise trash.

But, hang on. Maybe it’s actually a pro. Because when you do get a good one, it’s like winning the lottery. Better, even, because money is the root of all evil, but nectarines are only evil if you save up the poison pits. Maybe if I could have a good nectarine whenever I wanted, it wouldn’t seem so special. I don’t care at all about peach rings, for example. But maybe I would if, in a big bag of unflavored rings, one was peach? Funny how the mind works, isn’t it?

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