Plum Disappointed

Saturday at Penn Mac: cheese in hand, approaching the checkout, taking a look around the produce.  The bulk mushrooms, as usual, were dried out and older looking.  Not a hot pepper to be seen.  Red bells, as usual, looked good and were selling for the same price as their green peppers.  Avocados are cheap, sure, why not, let’s grab a couple.  Anything else?

The plums looked good.

The PLU stickers said “Chile.”  I knew they’d been shipped across the continent to get here.  But, the plums looked good.

They reminded me of summer days when I’d pluck similar-looking fruit from my family’s fruit bowl and bite through tart, crisp skin into moist, syrupy flesh.  The peculiar sensation of having your mouth pucker and smile at the same time.  The dribble of juice that escapes and runs down your chin and onto your t-shirt.

I bought four.  I ate two today.  There was no tartness, no juice, no moistness to the flesh.  The body was pasty and the flavor was dull.  It was, beyond question, the out of season fruit I should have recognized it to be when I read the country of origin, as clearly marked on the sticker: Chile is approximately 5,000 miles away from Pittsburgh.  That’s a long distance for a fruit to travel.

Caveat imperator—that’s Latin for, “You should’ve known better, stupid!”

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