New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fruits of Their Labor

One of the many benefits of living in New York City is the introduction of products from various ethnic groups. Often, these are the hard core, authentic foods and devices that are actually used by another culture transported by immigrants. The world of fruit is very exotic in the city, with things rarely seen outside the city, such as dragon fruit or Durian.

I first saw the type of orange peeling machine in the photo for the first time in the West Indies - simple, ingenious, and so much faster than hand peeling. Also, when peeled this way, removing only the outer peel and leaving the white portion of the rind (the pericarp or albedo), an orange can be eaten more conveniently, like an apple. It is said that the white portion of an orange contains as much vitamin C as the flesh. Perhaps the slightly bitter quality of the white and the American penchant for all things sweet prevents more people from eating oranges this way.

Recently, while in the Bronx returning from a business meeting, I found myself in slow moving traffic. In New York City, this means captive audience and opportunity. And where there is opportunity, there are always opportunists. Typically in this scenario you will find flower vendors, however, in this case I was hungry and lucky - a vendor on foot was selling machine peeled oranges. Two dollars for a bag of four. I was a happy camper with a snack that managed to ameliorate the drab crossing of the nondescript Third Avenue Bridge.  

Some may feel that our foot vendor is nothing but an opportunist, but perhaps he can also be seen as a necessary and central figure in the fantasmagorical world of New York City, where the Sirens of Convenience not only draw us in, but here, they also provide us with the Fruits of Their Labor :)


Mary P. said...

They used to sell them as you exited the Williamsburgh Bridge in B'klyn. I was always afraid they had germs.

Rose said said...

How extraordinary - never heard or seen anything like it.