I’m getting pretty sick of the thought police telling me how many unique and special kinds of fruit there are. Because are there? Really?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: there are only five fruits. I’ll give you a moment to gather the remnants of your exploded mind off the floor, because you’re going to want to pay attention to this.


Oranges are a fruit. You know it, I know it, and the man upstairs knows it. If I were to tell you that oranges aren’t a real fruit, you’d call me a liar—and you’d be right.

Now, this next statement is going to ruffle a lot of feathers in Washington, but when an orange is small, it’s still an orange. I’m talking to you, clementines and mandarins. Orange-colored peel, white pith, chubby segments: you’re a baby orange, boys, don’t put on airs like it’s anything different.

A blood orange is a goth version of a regular orange, plain and simple. A pomelo is a husky orange, it doesn’t have to be ashamed of that. Kumquats? Little wee oranges. Grapefruits? Bitter oranges. Lemons? Sour oranges. Limes? Sour oranges with a little zazz. Kaffir limes? Racist oranges! Check your cultural insensitivity at the door, kaffir limes, and also please admit that you’re an orange!


What could be more clearly a fruit than the apple? It’s a symbol of fruit-ness, as well as a lot of other things, plenty of things, I can’t be bothered to remember them all right now. The point is: apples are apples.

You know what else are apples? Mangoes are apples. Don’t react right away– let it sink in. Are you currently realizing that mangoes are more or less round and come in varying shades of red, yellow and green? Just like apples? Don’t worry, that discomfort is just your brain growing.

Kiwis are also apples. Don’t fight it! So are all “melons.” Also pears. Additionally: breadfruit. Blueberries as well. You know what I say to those overlarge, monster strawberries whenever I see them at the grocery store? I say, right out loud: “apple up, chums: you’re apples.”

Dragon Fruit

Now that you know I’m bringing the straight dope, let’s talk about dragon fruit. You might be walking around, living your life, thinking that you’ve never eaten a dragon fruit. Trust me, that’s what they want you to think. I’d wager you’ve eaten an entire fruit salad whose myriad contents were only dragon fruit. Never eaten dragon fruit?! Hah! Listen to this.

Fact: dragon fruit grows in purple and white bunches in vineyards all over Piedmont, Sonoma County, and Bordeaux.

Fact: There’s nothing a monkey loves more than carefully removing the peel from a long, yellow dragon fruit.

Fact: Do you know Spongebob? He lives in a dragon fruit under the sea.


May I speak truth to power for a moment? Because we’ve all got hangups, we’ve all got shit from our childhood, and we’ve all had to be forcibly removed from Knott’s Berry Farm once or twice in our lives. But every now and then we encounter something that feels SO RIGHT that its truth just can’t be denied. I’m talking about red right now. Red the fruit.

Cherries, raspberries, (small) strawberries, cranberries, currants, pomegranates. Shit, Gooseberries. Are you literally telling me you can distinguish between these fruits and their flavors and juices? Please. Pull the other one.


A nectarine is a nectarine is a nectarine, and there is not now nor will there ever be anything else like a nectarine. And honestly? Peaches wish. (Peaches are apples.)

Illustrations by Ivy Johnson