Growing things

Pretty produce

So, our urge to mess with our food continues unabated, it seems, and as usual, aesthetics are a fundamental part of this (as with many of our endeavours, I think).

So yes, a few new instances of pleasantly pretty produce. In first place (because I live in NZ, if nothing else), are some very special red apples.

A local scientist, Dr Richard Espley, has been working on understanding the genetic mechanisms behind the red colour in apples, with the idea being that apples can be grown which have novel colour characteristics, as well as oodles of anti-oxidants. And when I say red apples and novel colour characteristics, I mean it: not only will the skins be red, but the flesh of the apples as well. Apparently, apples with red flesh do exist, but while they have ligher levels of good things (liek antioxidants), they don’t taste nearly as good as their white-fleshed counterparts.

Richard won awards at the recent MacDiarmid Young Scientist of the Year awards, and works at Plant and Food, one of New Zealand’s Crown Research Institutes.

Next on the list, and perhaps slightly more flippantly, are heart-shaped cucumbers.

Yes, you heard me correctly: from the people invented bento box art (links abound), comes the next element in making the everyday necessity of nutrient ingestion a more pleasant affair. Other shapes include stars, and who-knows-what next.

And, hilariously, baby-shaped pears.

The Chinese farmer involved has been perfecting his technique for some 6 years by now (well, that’s what I read), and they’re selling for £5 a pop. I think they’re very reminiscent of the Buddha, don’t you?

Of course, if these had been made in the shape of other deities, I can imagine there may have been more of a fuss (although, if you’ve ever thought of making truly iconic toast, have a look here, and I’ve also seen various kits and DIY vids on google as well).

But yes - hooray for those tirelessly endeavouring to beautify our meals.