The Serpent Beguiled me – a Blog about Fruit
One of my first blogs was  Berries, done as essentially part of autumn. I left the rest of fruit for a later blog and here it is.
Scientific terminology rarely agrees with common usage. Technically a ‘fruit’ is a seed-bearing structure but we may use the word more loosely in a way that relates to what we eat. Edible fruits have a symbiotic relationship with animals (including humans.)
We tend to think of fruits as fleshy, generally sweet, and edible in the raw state – apples, bananas, grapes, lemons, oranges, strawberries, …
But strictly we should also include nuts, bean pods, tomatoes and wheat grains (and mushrooms!) And there are fruits that we call vegetables – peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, courgettes … Not to mention nuts, grains and spices. And of course the rhubarb that acts a fruit in desserts is not a fruit, it’s just the stalk of its (poisonous) leaves.
The fruits most familiar to us are berries like cranberries, gooseberries, grapes and tomatoes – also aubergines and bananas (and citrus fruits!); drupes (with stones) like cherries, olives and plums; and pomes like apples and pears (and rosehips.)
[Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are not berries. They are aggregate fruits.]
The fruit is produced towards the end of the annual cycle of life but it is not so closely linked to the season of Autumn as I first thought. Trees and plants flower almost throughout the year. Some types have an extended period of many months for flowering and some may have buds, flowers and fruit at the same time. So I didn’t have to wait for autumn to come round again.
Here are my pictures roughly grouped by species with the more obvious fruits first, then the pods, cones and seeds.
I was going to say that we all know the story of Adam and Eve and the apple but nowadays younger people don’t get the religious education we used to have with its Bible stories. Before I go any further let me say that it’s a story. Nobody now believes that it actually happened like this.
It comes from Genesis, the first book of the Bible, just after God created the World and the first two people, Adam and Eve. They were young and innocent. As always I use the King James Version with some minor adjustments to spelling and punctuation. Here is the first part of Chapter 3.
- Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, ‘Yea, hath God said, “Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” ’
- And the woman said unto the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden …’
- ‘But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, “Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” ’
- And the serpent said unto the woman, ‘Ye shall not surely die …’
- ‘For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’
- And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
- And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
- And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
- And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, ‘Where art thou?’
- And he said, ‘I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’
- And he said, ‘Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?’
- And the man said, ‘The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.’
- And the Lord God said unto the woman, ‘What is this that thou hast done?’ And the woman said, ‘The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.’
We all know the story and think of it as an apple but Genesis just calls it the fruit of a tree.
It’s the best I can do for a blog about fruit.