I’d like to give the world a Cara-Cara December 26, 2006

It’s 1982, and I’m feeling nervous. Expectant, happy adult faces stare up at my two younger sisters and me as we stand in the spotlight of the annual holiday talent show. My mom is crouched on the floor, eyes wide, fingers raised like a conductor as the music begins, “And one, two, three, four. . .” I’m twelve years old; my voice still hasn’t changed. All three of us are wearing matching sky-blue Izod shirts, khakis, and brand-new Docksiders. We’ve been practicing for weeks in the living room–mom with a gentle smile played the piano as we worked on our sways and dips, trying to capture the right tone for the happy-holiday-pick-me-up medley of the best advertising theme songs on the planet. The medley starts with the one song we all know and love. The one that makes us all feel like we could sprint out into a cornfield to save a puppy from an oncoming combine tractor and then offer a cool, refreshing beverage to the kind-hearted man who just didn’t realize that the playful golden retriever was chasing butterflies through the corn when he got caught in a gofer hole: “I’d like to buy the world a . . .” After three minutes of stiffly mumbled “Uh-Oh Spaghetti-O’s,” and a host of other canned and boxed product songs, we end the only way one can: “Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener. . .”

This memory flashback was brought to you by my realization that there are no perfect fruit advertising songs out there. People don’t hum a tune about persimmons, or feeling like they have a connection to humanity because they bought a Satsuma. We need to change that. I believe that fruit (veggies too) should be the first foods that make us feel a natural connection to each other and the land. Sadly fruits and veggies aren’t marketed with the same savvy as junk food. Sure there are the few hits like, “I Left My Elephant Heart Plum in San Francisco,” and the famed but forgotten “A Wish is Just a Cara-Cara Shared with the World.” I’ll keep you updated if we run across anything worth humming.

Last week I wrote briefly about the Cara-Cara, but I wanted to elaborate a bit more about it here. We strive to find medium-sized Cara-Caras. At this size, they contain roughly 150 % of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, 30% vitamin A, 80 calories, and 28% fiber. Cara Cara’s look very similar to navel oranges on the outside, save for a slight red blush. If you carefully inspect the rind, you’ll find that their outer skin is smoother than the navel. The flesh inside the Cara-Cara is pink and has a slight berry or cherry hint to it. Their acidity level is lower than navels, which, in my humble opinion, makes them taste sweeter. Enjoy and be fruitful! – Chris Mittelstaedt chiefbanana@fruitguys.com

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