Fruit can so often be a dull affair. “Is it sweet?” is asked almost as a forlorn hope with an orange. Bananas too often taste of just so much old mash.
There is a hierarchy to the fruit sold in Hong Kong. At the bottom is produce from the Mainland. It is cheap, it is ok, and it is shunned by a chunk of society fearful of toxins in the food. Then there is fruit from Southeast Asia, or even further afield. Perhaps a British apple in Marks and Spencer, or something from Australia or America. But at the top, at the very pinnacle, is fruit from Japan. It doesn’t come cheap, but it is good.
It is, though, infinitely inferior to the real thing.
A friend returning from a trip to Japan brought with him some fruit. Grapes so intensely sweet and flavoursome that they could only be eaten one at a time and savoured slowly. To guzzle these grapes, popping them into the mouth with gay abandon as one might at home, would not just be a waste, it might even lead to some neuralgic shock. The melon too was of a succulence and taste that I have never before experienced.
Is this what fruit was like before the Fall? Is this the way all food should taste?
What has happened to our food, and to our palate?