How often have you heard someone say? “It’s like comparing apples to oranges” or “that’s like comparing apples and oranges”.
I decided to take the challenge and do just that. My first thought was why not compare apples to pears? Their shapes are so different but their insides are very similar. Unlike oranges and apples whose shapes are similar and insides are divinely different, yet so compatible. I’ll stick with the familiar idiom.
Apples and oranges have many similarities. For instance, they are both fruit and grow on trees in orchards. They both start out being green and move on to different shades of warm colors though granny smith is stuck in her ways and refuses to be anything but green. We know how difficult that is.
Both are basically round and start out as a white blossom. Each one grows to about the same size and weight. Often one or the other, or both, are found in lunch boxes for school children and can make the best snacks especially when combined with yogurt, pudding, or oatmeal.
When I think about it, apples and oranges are like the perfect couple in a perfect relationship. They like the same things and go to the same places and yet they can hold up on their own. They do not mind being separate and are clearly individual. For instance, the fruit of the orange is different from an apple. Inside the orange are tiny jewels separated by sections of membrane. Oranges are a happy food. Oranges can teach a person how to divide a circle or even how to cut an apple pie.
As I write this I am really wondering are they really so different? Both are used in baking, though oranges are more often used for the essence of their grated peels. Apples are more versatile as the whole fruit can be baked into a pie or cake or bread. Another popular way is to just bake the whole apple with a stick of cinnamon and some brown sugar in the place of the core that is removed. One could even include grated zest of orange (peel) in the center for an incredible flavor combination. Apples are included in many dishes that use pork, as the combination is delightful. That said orange combined with chili peppers and tender shredded beef will quite literally knock your socks off.
Most often oranges are not baked like apples but they are included in fruit salad (paired with apples too!) and absolutely delicious mixed with salad greens. Apples when seeded and heated make incredible applesauce. The peels of oranges combined with some form of sugar and pectin and heated make incredible marmalade. Combining the two makes for a great flavor sensation.
Orange essence is often used for the flavoring of pies – and cakes and breads. Oranges are cut or peeled and the succulent sections are eaten one by one. Most people peel the orange but leave the peel on for the apple. When it comes to pies some peel the apple first.
Oranges can be dipped in melted chocolate. An apple dipped in caramel is hard to beat except when one puts a stick in the middle and creates a “pop.” Speaking of pop one must not forget the great taste both of these fruit’s juice make when combined with carbonated water (seltzer). Apples and oranges are full of vitamins when left raw and pressed into juices. Both can be included in smoothies, and especially delicious when a banana is added. Their juice can be used to enhance salad dressings, marinades, cocktails, or drunk plain.
All in all it is fascinating to think of the many ways apples and oranges collaborate as well as stand-alone. I had no clue how much fun it would be to compare apples and oranges. They both have navels, though on the orange of same name it really looks like a belly button.
I think the statement “comparing apples and oranges” needs to be put to rest if one is to think they are so different, even though they are, they are not.