Last weekend, a friend and I decided we’d get economical and cook ourselves dinner. We wandered around the Food Emporium near her apartment, throwing vegetables into our basket to stir-fry: peppers, onions, mushrooms, bok choy, eggplant…
It was on our hunt for a dessert mango that we spotted it: the ugli fruit. Pronunciation: “ugly.” Yes, actually. And it is hideous.
I was enthralled. I took the thing — which resembles a rotten, green orange the size of a baby’s face — in my hands. I held it to my chest. I deemed it my boyfriend. We eschewed the mango in favor of this rare, gleaming find. As we cooked, as we ate the stir fry, I burst into laughter over and over as I remembered the ugli in our possession.
But then we ate my boyfriend, and let me tell you: it was not good. If it looked like an orange’s neglected sibling, it tasted worse — in fact, it had no taste.
Nonetheless, I continued my fondness for the ugli, which was now a pile of (probably genetically-engineered) citrus in my belly. Poking around online, I discovered, to my delight, that the ugli has its own website! Apparently, “Ugli” is a trademark for the fruit, which is not an orange, but a Jamaican-grown tangelo. Best line on the website:
When buying the UGLI® brand of tangelos do not be misled by their appearance, you will love their sweet and tangy flavour.
“The Affliction is only Skin Deep so the Beauty is in the Eating“™
Amazing. But, according to Wikipedia, the thing is called “ugli” precisely because it looks so deformed: “Its name derives from the unsightly appearance of its rough, wrinkled, greenish-yellow skin, wrapped loosely around the orange pulpy citrus inside.” Now if loosely-wrapped skin isn’t appetizing, I don’t know what is.