I’ve always enjoyed fresh fruits and vegetables. When I lived in Canada, I chose the ones without blemishes or bruises. Heaven forbid anything had a moldy spot—those items belonged on the day old shelf. Or better yet, throw them away. I’d buy the prepackaged mini carrots. I’d compare the pineapples. Not sure how to tell if I had picked a good one, I’d spend an extra dollar for one pre-sliced in a plastic container. And I always selected only the orangest of the oranges—perfect color, perfect dimples, always seedless.
Then I moved to Roatan. I anticipated finding the best of the best (as I knew it). Very quickly I had to change my way of thinking. If I was only willing to select what looked like it could be used for a photo-shoot for Delmonte, I might as well start buying canned peas and fruit-cups.
The carrots here are big and gnarly. The melons have spots, the celery is pretty limp, and the oranges, well…they are down-right ugly. Pale yellowy-grey skin, absolutely no dimples, and nary a sticker confirming they are seedless. I wasn’t even sure they were oranges until I saw a street vendor selling them. He had a pile of them stacked high in a cart, and a tool, much like an apple peeler; he used to remove the tough outer layer. I watched people purchase oranges from him for a few Limps (pennies) each.
I bought a couple, took them home, realized I could not peel them; I sliced one open, and flicked out the many seeds. The inside color wasn’t much better than the outside, but it did seem to be quite juicy. I sliced it again, and prepared a wedge to pop into my mouth. Removal of more seeds, and I gave it a try. The flavor was unlike any orange I had ever tasted before. It was the sweetest, most delectable orange I ever had the pleasure to eat.
THIS is how an orange should taste.
So if ever you come to Roatan, Honduras, try not to turn your nose up at the ugly oranges, give one a try—you will be pleasantly surprised. The carrots, pineapples and melons are pretty awesome too! And the limp celery—just soak it in some cold water.
This story is also posted at Honduras Weekly What an Orange Really Tastes Like