Freaky Fruit

November 13, 2008 at 2:50 am 4 comments

Stroll through farmers markets on a regular basis, and you’re bound to come across some unusual bounty.  Here’s a fruit I otherwise would never have known had it not been for my trips to New York City farmers markets.

Osage Oranges — Natural Raid for Roaches

A woman described them best to her no more than seven-year-old son:  “They look like brains,” she said of the Osage oranges sitting lonesomely on the fringes of a farm stand — outcasts of sorts.   

Osage oranges at Union Square Farmers Market.

Osage oranges at Union Square Farmers Market.

The unusual fruit is not something you’d naturally reach out for. First, their deeply wrinkled surface is indeed reminiscent of a brain, conjuring images of slimy creatures in horror flicks.  Not only are they unpleasant to look at.  They’re unpleasant to touch.  Dare to touch the untouchable fruit and your hands immediately feel sticky.




There’s a reason the fruit is both visually and tactilely repugnant.  Osage oranges shouldn’t be eaten as the inedible fruit makes people vomit. 

Is this freaky fruit good for anything? Yes.  Osage oranges have a mild citrus odor, which repels cockroaches and other bugs.  For New York City apartment dwellers, they might be better than keeping a can of Raid.

·         Price:  $2 each

·         Nutritional tidbits: No nutrition here as this fruit is inedible.  Squirrels, though, like them and eat their seeds.

·         Shape/color/texture:  bright fluorescent green and round like an orange with a hard and deeply wrinkled surface. 

Click here for other Freaky Fruit.


Entry filed under: Farmers Market, Freaky Fruit, Local Food Production. Tags: , , .

Urban Farmer Seeks to Spread Passion for Growing Food Can-ucopia of Visual Treats

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Freaky Fruit « New York Bounty  |  December 5, 2008 at 3:18 am

    […] you peel back their paper-thin husk.  They’re lightweight, almost weightless, as delicate as Osage oranges are rough. The small, perfectly round cherries — no berries — hide in their husks like oysters […]

  • 2. m.thew  |  December 15, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    2 dollars a pop when you can find them in Prospect Park for free? BTW, I have it on good authority that our NYC cockroaches laugh at these things. Cool looking, though, and the trees are handsome.

  • 3. mcorreia  |  December 16, 2008 at 3:46 am

    Prospect Park? I never would have guessed!

  • 4. Freaky Fruit: Lambsquarters « New York Bounty  |  June 6, 2010 at 12:46 am

    […] here, here and here and for more Freaky […]

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