On my walk yesterday, I stumbled upon two giant tennis balls in the middle of the road. As I approached, and their details came into focus, I realized that they were rather two large, perfectly intact green brains. I wish I could have seen the look on my face as I approached the brains – it’s not every day that one comes upon something so strange. I turned one over and saw a stem protruding from one side which made me realize that these were some sort of strange fruit! They left a familiar thin film on my hands after I touched them that smelled faintly like an orange peel.
I was in love!
I looked around – surely they must have fallen out of someone’s grocery bag. How could such lovely fruits be just lying in the middle of the road? Thankfully, I had my smartphone with me and I quickly googled “green brain fruit” which produced an immediate answer: hedge apples. The wikipedia article describes them as being a fibrous, fragrant fruit from a type of bush that once doubled as fencing for cattle. This explained why in the mountains of Northern Idaho I had never encountered such a plant, but out here in the Midwest, these were commonplace.
Wiki goes on to say that they are nontoxic, so you could eat them if you wanted to, but supposedly they taste awful so no one does. Except for cows – who often get them stuck in their throats. Although, with the size of these things, I don’t see how! There is also an old wive’s tale about the fruit repelling insects and fleas – whether it’s true or not, I’m in! My dining room now smells a little bit like oranges and they do make the most lovely centerpieces for my table!
Hubby just shrugged when I held up my treasures when he returned home from work. “Yeah, hedge apples. So what?”
So for all of you who, like me, have never encountered these before, I wanted to share my fascination and newfound love for these gorgeous little fruits.