I wouldn’t dare be so pretentious as to offer a conclusive answer to any of man’s most fundamental questions. I’m just a man, after all – a startlingly handsome and devastatingly intelligent man, yes, but a man nonetheless. Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer my thoughts on one philosophical conundrum that I’ve spent many an hour pondering: if there were anthropomorphic fruit – and that’s a very big ‘if’ – which would win in a fight?
First and foremost, we’d need to set the ground rules for the match. Combatants would square off in an extra large cut glass bowl with high walls, so that no pugilistic produce could escape, plus all carcasses could easily combine into a tasty dessert. It would be unfair to the smaller species to have to square off against larger foes – think of the pitiful fate of the kumquat subjected to the violence of winter melon. Therefore, serving sizes would compete for the title of reigning horticultural champion.
I’d immediately rule out all of the berries, because of both their size and high degree of squishability. Blueberries would be the first to go: they barely hold up to seventy degree heat, so they’d stand very little chance in the delicious melee. Straw, cran, rasp, and black would be the next to fall. Grapes would put up a good fight, banding together, but would be overwhelmed without the unifying force of their vine. Not a leader among them.
Bananas, though large and starchy, would quickly succumb to internal bruising. Citrus would similarly suffer as their little ventricles and vessels of Vitamin C-rich juice would burst and bleed out. Meanwhile, apples and other hand fruit – peaches, pears, and plums particularly – would fare relatively well, but their crisp texture would do little to protect them from their unfortunate yet fantastic potential as pie-filling. Other fruits easily recognize the culinary possibilities of their peers and would be quick to exploit it.
The more exotic fruit – the papaya, pomelo, lychee, and their cousins – would be singled out by jingoistic xenophobes and summarily eradicated, whereas the downfall of the larger varieties would be the vulnerability of individual servings. Like the famous tendon of tragic Achilles, the fleshy pulp of the melons would be easily pierced without the protective armor of its rind.
So who do I believe would vanquish the others? None other than the pomegranate. Born of Aegean roots, the warrior has, over the centuries, held sway over countless cultures and cuisines, ultimately lending its French name to the ultimate destructive device: the grenade. With its thick skin, frightening crimson hue, and arsenal of stain-inducing seeds, the pomegranate would wreak havoc on defenseless crops of all phyla. This is, of course, but one man’s humble opinion, but should my idea for Fruit Thunderdome come to pass, you know who to back.
By CS Van Orden