God is in the Produce Aisle- A Tasting



I ask the guy in the produce section if the Clementines are sweet.

“Some are, some aren’t. With all the rain in California, the thin-skinned variety are rotting. We are having to send them all back.”

He says this as he takes me over to the thick skinned Clementines, pulls a knife from his apron, and carves out two slices from the bright orange fruit.

I watch the knife in his hands, and I wonder about all that soggy, rejected West Coast citrus.

Then we each bite into our wedges and he waits for my response.

“Delicious,” I say, marveling at how such a small chunk of fruit can hold so much pleasure.

I know it wouldn’t have tasted nearly so good had I eaten it alone.


Then come the apples. So many choices, but the organic Opal Golds and Fujis are on sale.

I wave down a different produce guy, and the fruit tasting ritual repeats itself.

“I have to buy a lot of apples,” I tell this new fellow, “I want to make sure they are good.”

We bite into the pale yellow skin, and he proclaims that while the texture is a little soft, the flavor is still good and sweet, and I agree.

“See that,” he says, holding up a piece in the light and pointing to a few transparent bits at the center.

“That’s a sugar patch. You know this is going to be a good apple.”

Indeed, I can’t imagine an apple ever tasting better.


We go on to discuss the pineapples (always good, he says, they are from Ecuador) and the still unripe mangoes,

And I think, “Wow, these produce guys really know their fruit.”

They seem to inhabit a universe attentive to texture and sweetness.

And pay close attention to where each variety is in its evolution from unripe to ripe to rotten.

They are acquainted with their fruits’ origins and even their sweet spots.


And, it would seem they also know that such a bounty of wonders tastes best when shared.