PHYSALIS: PART ONE

what even IS that?

what even IS that?

About a week ago, my AFB cofounder Gary ‘Gary From Leeds’ From Leeds suggested that we really should get the Average Food cart back up and running, and where better to start than a discussion of the physalis fruit? Now, Mr. From Leeds, it turns out, is in favour of said fruit, while I think it is of the devil. He thus proposed that we smear each other in baby oil, don big nappies, invite a few hundred morbidly obese Americans over, and tickle each other to the death over it.

Obviously I declined.

The next best thing, we decided, was to conduct a debate – a debate that nobody asked for, but which you will get nonetheless. A few days after having decided this, Gary told me that he’d written his side of the debate and saved it as a draft in WordPress for me to add to, but I don’t know his password, so therefore can’t access it. I could call him up to ask for it, but I can’t be bothered. I will instead attempt to pre-empt his argument. (Incidentally, let it not be said that AFB is not a model of co-editorship.) (I hope that last parenthetical statement made sense – I am too tired/full after dinner to get my head around double negatives.)

Anyway. Physalii. I don’t like them, and I shall now attempt to explain why.

Firstly, it has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the fact that physalis sounds a bit like syphilis. That is an utterly sophomoric observation unworthy of a blog such as this.

That said, genitalia do come into it (natch). For the fact is, physalii look like scrotums (scrota? Scrotii?). But not just any scrotum. Not the scrotum of you or I, for example. They are too thin and papery for that. If you’ve ever read Skellig by David Almond, and seen a physalis, you’ll know what I mean when I say that the physalis looks like what one might expect the scrotum of the eponymous character to look like. And if you haven’t read the book, count yourself lucky – its initial promise is not maintained, and it peters out into a flimsy, meandering miasma of meaninglessness. (Average Book Reviews: coming soon.)

Not only does the skin – or shell? Casing? What the hell even is it anyway – look like a scrotum, but the little bollock inside tastes pretty ropey too. Not actively bad, but I guess that is part of the point: it is just a feeble excuse for a fruit. It tastes like a sort of anaemic tomato that has been half-heartedly sprinkled with weak sugar. And I’m not even sure if ‘weak sugar’ is a thing. LOOK WHAT I’VE BEEN REDUCED TO!

So we have done sight and taste. What of the other five senses? Well, the skin/shell/casing feels like a moth’s wing that has just been stuck in a toaster. I take it as self-evident that this is not a good thing. I can’t remember what a physalis smells like because it has been a long time since I have eaten one, a fact that itself counts against it. And the last time I checked, physalii made no noise at all. Not a peep.

The (small, orange, unappetising) ball is now firmly in Gary’s court. Let’s see what the big man can come up with, shall we?

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