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RE: Oranges and other fruits

Poster: PETERSR@spiegel.becltd.com (Peters, Rise J.)

I had a similar experience just a few months ago in Phoenix, which leads me 
to suspect that the difference between what Dafydd and I each tasted (ick!) 
and what we all think of as oranges may be due to modern breeding for 
"ornamental trees" versus "fruit trees."  If it's planted as a decoration, 
these days, and if it has bright orange oranges hanging from it, I'll now 
tend to assume they aren't meant to be edible.  (Florida oranges, bred for 
taste, are a sickly yellow color.)

OTOH, someone mentioned upstream that in period Spanish oranges were 
considered quite a treat.  So there was =something= edible out there, and it 
probably wasn't that bitter atrocity each of us snitched and suffered for.

Modern breeding is also commonly for traits (such as ornamental color, 
discussed above, or slow ripening, which makes fruit more transportable) 
that may come at the expense of taste.  I had the delightful experience of 
eating non-modern bananas in the Canary Islands a few years ago.  They had a 
wonderful, intense banana taste, but go from unripe to overripe in a matter 
of hours (and are only six inches long), and thus aren't commercially 
viable.  Anyone know when and where bananas first show up?

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