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Warning: Fruit has been harmed in the making of this post.
So, where were we?
Oh yes. What happens when you put bright young minds together in a unique, inspiring learning environment, like the Oberlin College dining hall? You get fruit innovation!
So, we got fruit, stuffed it with stuff and baked it! Yum. All of the ingredients in these marvelous baked apples were bought from official Oberlin College stores. This includes raisins (the non-crusty variety), apples (the gorgeous red and white variety), honey, cinnamon sugar, granola, yoghurt raisins and many more exciting things...
And yes, that is a baked orange topped with peanut butter, cheerios, coffee beans and a melted ginger chew that you see before you.
After baking for about 10 seconds. Turns out, cheerios don't bake. They turn into olive slices. Eureka!
Baked orange was disappointing. It tasted like - hot orange. But the apples were gorgeous. So do try this at home! And then try this:
Avant-garde fruit experimentation. Pollock would be proud. Relics of the baked apple shenanigans were arranged on a plate and microwaved to see what happened. Result: ginger chew volcanoes and banana that's lost the will to live. The possibilities are endless!
So, what is the meaning of fruit life? Apparently, a seed. The Oxford Dictionary defines fruit as 'the sweet and fleshy product of a tree or other plant that contains seeds and can be eaten as food.' Roll up tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, pumpkins, cucumber and avocado! Join the party. Wait - so that avocado stone is a seed? Wow. Not so space efficient there.
All of these undercover fruits can be found at Oberlin in many shapes and forms. At Stevie, as part of the extensive salad bar (which, by the way, also features mushroom concoctions, smoked tofu and pickled watermelon relish - avoid like the plague), you get:
- Cherry tomatoes, sliced plum tomatoes and those big beef tomatoes (I wonder if you call them this in the US) for putting in your burgers. I know my tomatoes, and it's an impressive array.
- Eggplant, making fleeting guest appearances in curries. Sadly, it's never on its own. This is a bad case of over-fruit-manipulation. Remember, chefs, less is more. I would go mad for a plateful of pure, unadulterated eggplant right now.
- Peppers in everything. Why do the green ones always taste so gross?
- Pumpkins in pumpkin pie - does that count? Let's say yes.
- Cucumber in cucumber. Cucumbers + chopped black olives (not cheerios) = delicious. Just a little dining hall discovery that I thought I'd share.
So, I hear you groan, where is the avocado? This is the great Stevie tragedy. I am avocado deprived. But the Science Cart, a little canteen in the Science Centre where we all go to pretend to work, has the most amazing vegan spinach wraps with a hint of avocado. They also have pumpkin cookies. Go there! Also, I've heard that a Mexican restaurant in town does amazing guacamole. But oh, for a whole, ripe avocado. So dreamy.
Let's round this up before it gets out of hand. I know, it already has.
The Final Fruit Verdict
Overall, I give Oberlin an 8.25 for fruit. The .25 is for that magical day of berries in Stevenson that may or may not have been a dream. Either way, they tasted great. Almost as good as baked apple stuffed with peanut butter.
The only way that I would award a perfect 10 is if Oberlin relocated to the Caribbean, or Africa. Last year, I briefly considered attending the University of Hawaii for similar reasons. But for those of us stuck in more fruitily challenged parts of the world, who still need our daily fix, Oberlin is the place for us!
Oh, well now that song's stuck in my head. Here goes...
There's a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peach and kumquat and lots of pears
Wait for us
There's a lime for us,
Some day a clementine for us,
Grapes together with melon to spare,
Pineapple, if you care,
Some more pears.
We'll find a new nectarine,
We'll find a way of fruit-giving,
Somewhere . . .
There's a plum for us,
A kiwi - yum! - for us.
Hold my apple and we're halfway there.
Hold my orange and I'll take you there.
Hi Jane, Annie, Leah and Hannah! Your star quality continues to amaze me with every post.
Finally, let me express my endless gratitude for the unsung heroes of this blog: all of you apples, oranges, melons, grapes and bananas, who so generously gave your time and your insides to this worthy cause. We are forever indebted to you.