By way of recap on the story so far, there have been few stronger disagreements between AFB editors Gary and Joshua than on the key issue of the physalis. Here was was Joshua had to say. Now it’s Gary’s turn. 

No-one could argue that the physalis is easily likeable. It doesn’t have the ‘it-is-what-it-is’ simplicity of the apple, nor is it the shapely funster that the banana is. If anything, it’s a mess of a fruit, all tangled leaves and transient experiences. But to sideline its role in the world of food is to expose ugly prejudices, and a narrow world view.

I’m not here to deny that on the surface, it’s essentially the fruit incarnation of that mate you have who is objectively a poncy twat, always dressed up beyond relevance with numerous gimmicks at hand to falsify the impression of being the life and soul of the party. I’m here to propose that beneath the veneer, this is a friend who always delivers when it’s needed. You can ignore those gimmicks as insignificant with such fine inherent qualities.

The flavour is consistently sharp, fruity and distinctive – neither citrus nor seed, just pure unabashed physalis. You rarely find an on-the-turn physalis, proving a rare endurance among fruity neighbours, and they are solid fruits for storage in bag environments for when a fruity lift is required – firm waxy skin and leaf shielding makes the physalis the hardiest ponce of them all.

Some may suggest the physalis’s regular use as a decorative flourish on dessert plates proof of its superfluity. I ask: What kind of a world would this be without decorative flourishes and touches of the superfluous? A dour one, that’s what; a sort of Total Belarus.

Another great quality is that it both looks like, and is almost the same word as, chrysalis. Everyone likes a good chrysalis, as the enduring popularity of the butterfly house at Leeds’ Tropical World testifies.  Case closed.


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