Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fun Food Facts to Know and Tell Part One

At one time or another, I've been surprised and/or confused about what is considered fruit, what is vegetable, what is considered a nut, what is an herb, what constitutes a spice. (ah for the clarity of mineral....)

There are agreed upon rules, and there are those certain exceptions.

Questions remain about several nuts, er, fruits, well, nuts that might technically be fruits (or vice versa).

For instance, there is debate, not of the raging variety, but more some polite discussion where folks agree to disagree, about whether or not a macadamia fruit is a drupe or a follicle.

I imagine bespectacled people, in lab coats, glasses of port in hand, cigars optional, although smoking and drinking in the laboratory must cross many, many lines. I'm unclear why the distinction between drupe or follicle is important. Strike that, I am still unclear on what either one is, much less why it matters which one a macadamia nut/fruit might be. There are papers based upon on the rationale to go one way or the other with this classification, so it obviously matters a great deal (to somebody).

What I found interesting and much easier to understand was the information that Macadamia nuts originally hail from.... Australia. Yup - throw another shrimp on the barbie and hold the leis. I'd always assumed, since I'd only ever seen macs shipped in from Hawaii, that they started out there.

Turns out like a lot of other happy transplants, the macadamia nut is just another traveler that found a good thing in the Aloha State and stayed on. Drupe or follicle, you have to credit the macadamia for knowing a good place to live when it sees one.

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