For those of us with modest expectations, it is exciting enough to see British apples finally back on the shelves after months of woolly-textured imports. But Tesco clearly doesn’t think the return of the russet is enough to get us to open our wallets. Instead, it is trying to shock us into shelling out with a new hot-pink variety rejoicing in the uniquely irritating name, the Surprize (because, the company’s fruit product developer explained, “of the fantastic reaction it gets”).
Tesco says that the apples, which would gladden the heart of the late Barbara Cartland, taste as good as they look, which is at least some comfort to us fans of less glamorous, but reliably tasty varieties – after all, this wouldn’t be the first “quirky” fruit to grab the headlines, only to disappear without trace.
Anyone remember the pineberry, for example; an unnervingly pale, pineapple-flavoured strawberry stocked by Waitrose for a few short weeks back in 2010, or the same supermarket’s more recent experiment. M&S countered with the papple, a pear that looked a bit like an apple (for those pear-lovers who just want to fit in at the office) and the grango, a painfully named grape which tasted “a bit like a mango”.
The media may have swarmed like wasps to a fruit basket, but none actually seems to have taken off with consumers who would come in looking for strawberries that tasted like strawberries, or pears that didn’t sound like something you would only resort to after major dental work.
That said, there is a fine history of mucking about with the genetics of fruit. No doubt the grapefruit, a cross between the bitter pomelo and the sweet dessert orange, caused quite a stir when it first appeared in the 18th century, as did the logan and tayberry, with their dusky raspberry looks and sharp bramble flavour.
But such lasting successes are few and far between; the developers of the pluot, a cross between a plum and an apricot, or the limequat, which you can probably guess the ancestry of, have yet to see their creations strike it big with supermarkets.
Red bananas, yellow raspberries – the novelty seems to wear off as quickly as the colour of those pretty purple carrots you paid a premium for, only to find that, once peeled, they are still orange. I wish the Herefordshire farmer who developed the Surprize all the best, but I for one will be surprised if we see it again next year.
（译者 ewhyou 编辑 丹妮）