Thursday, 17 September 2009

Supermarket Pears

The other day, my boss gave me some home-grown pears. Now these were perfectly ripe so I could eat and enjoy them right away. They were delicious.

What IS it with supermarket pears? They are never at the correct ripeness for eating! You buy them all chilly from Tesco's or wherever and it says on the pack "ripen at home". Yeah, right! In about a billion years maybe.

Or maybe not, because you see, supermarket pears have this kind of programmed obsolescence built into them (by the same evil geniuses that brought you un-openable CD packaging and Pot Noodles, no doubt). What happens is that you have precisely 3 seconds of perfect ripeness in which to enjoy your pear but, and here's the kicker, that three second window will open and close again at about twenty-two minutes past three in the morning while you're fast asleep.

You'll miss that perfect bite into sweetness because you were foolishly sleeping and you'll get up the next day and the pears will have been transmogrified into inedible mush, fit only for the bin or the compost heap.

It's no good sitting up and watching the pears either. It seems there is some kind of Heisenberg-Quantum-Observer effect where the action of observing the pears just stops them ripening. I know, I've tried.

Could there be a more maddeningly frustrating fruit on the planet than supermarket pears?


  1. Mushrooms can be quite annoying and insidious when sober, but mean and spiteful when drunk. But they aren't a fruit. Then again, neither are supermarket pears. It's likely the Govt is genertically modifying pears and injecting them with chemicals that will make you vote for Gordon again in May. Watch those pears next time you are in the supermarket and check how close they are to the mushrooms. It's likely theyy talk to each other.

  2. It could be that Pears should be subjected to the Schroedinger test - put them in a box and technically they are always perfect until you observe them

    My personal bugbear with shopping is inconsistent packaging - why do Sainsbury's products vary between stating "Contains Gluten", "Gluten Free" and "Take a wild stab in the dark bucko"?

  3. Apples.... fruit of any sort in fact. I am very fussy when it comes to fruit. personally I like a firm, crunchy pear.. apples and oranges are the most irritating thing known to the universe, especially since, one that you enjoy.. say.. a granny smith.. will, the next time you buy it, be horrifically bitter. Orages the same... you get a nice bag of pipless, easy peeling, sweet lovliness, then, go for ones that look similar next time and it all.. yukky!... I hate fruit!... well, supermarket fruit... grow one's own is the only way to go... rant, rant, rant!.. there must be something in the air!, lol!

  4. I actually kind of like my pears hard. I'll eat them right from the store...

  5. "Could there be a more maddeningly frustrating fruit on the planet than supermarket pears?"

    Peaches. They are only good one week per year and I have to buy them from a guy who has driven them bouncing around in the back of his dusty pick-up truck from British Columbia to the pawn shop parking lot in Lohwinkel. The only good fruit that comes from a grocery store is in a can.

  6. @Dave - You could be on to something there, a whole fruit 'n veg-based conspiracy. I have to say, though, I'd have to eat an entire EEC pear mountain to be induced to vote for Gordon the Grim. I think the apples are staying aloof though, they do not usually dissappoint in the same way.

    @DFTP - Hmm, Schrodinger's Fruit Basket, like it! I think food labelling is maddenly inconsistent and it's about time they sorted it out.

    @Watercats - I've had that good fruit/bad fruit experience too. I'd love to grow my own fruit but I am in fact the thing that mummy plants tell baby plants will happen to them if they're naughty, so I daren't try.

    @Viewtiful_Justin - I odn't mind pears a bit crunchy, so long as there's a bit of sweetness going on. It's when it's like eating polystyrene that I object.

    @Michael - In my typically myopic way I forget that not all of us have a supermarket just around the corner. I can see how peaches would fare very badly under the circumstances you describe. I quite enjoy tinned fruit actually as a snack.


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