Here’s to the Firsties

Didja ever really take a look at an avocado hanging off of a tree (or in a pile at the grocery), with that pebbly green skin, and ponder why that fruit looks exactly like it’s made outta frogs? Did you hold one in your hand and wonder who, exactly was the first person ever who took a look at that green pear-shaped fruit and said to themselves, “hey, that looks tasty!”

And what was that first experiment like? Did they bite into it like an apple, only to ptoo-ptoo out that ucky skin? “I rather dislike the outside, but the innards, oh sweet delicious surrender!”

What about the first person to sample a lemon? What musta been going through their minds? Hmm, looks pretty and yellow. Smells divine. Nibble, nibble, ZOWEEEEE! *ting at the back of the jaw*

And then, after that horrifying experience, what was the thought chain that led to, “you know…if I add some water and something sweet to that, it could be very refreshing!”

How about…Which of our early ancestors plucked the berries from a juniper bush, fermented them, distilled the whole mess and figured out how to make gin? I mean, who was the utter genius with that idea? Because I don’t look at random berries on bushes and think, “hmm, martini!”

And what about coconuts? I mean, that’s a two-step process to get one of them sumnabitches open. First someone has to shimmy up a palm tree, a rather uncomfortable proposition, I’d think, then hack down one of those bad boys. AND THEN the two-steps to first peel off the thick outer later and then knock that thing on a rock to get it open.

Who had that kind of patience?

I’m glad they did because oh how tasty is coconut?

What about aloe? Or cactus fruit? Artichokes? Or those god awful stinky yet tasty durian fruits you find in Malaysia?

Who are these people who gave them the first try?

And what about the downsides of being first? For example…

Who, exactly, was our test subject to sample a handful of those pretty red little holly berries? Hey, the birds eat them, must be good right? According to Wikipedia (so you know it must be true), it only takes about twenty berries to be fatal for an adult. Whooops.

Who went there so that we’d all know not to?

I’m pretty grateful to that person, and all the other firsties.

Thanks for wandering through my strange random thought for the day. It has a genesis in something I saw in a movie and was a long strange trip in my brain from there….

Anyhoo. Happy Friday!

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  • Elise

    What about the first person to eat a shrimp? I always figure he/she was SERIOUSLY hungry, because let's face it, they don't actually look like food. But they're not just food, they're DELICIOUS food–and God bless the one who took that one for the team.

  • Karen Fayeth

    Oh excellent call. Was at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in January, and in the seahorse tanks, they have great big shrimp skittering around. I was like, "my god, they are ocean cockroaches!"

    But, as you said, VERY tasty!

  • L

    i always wonder who decided to try smoking some marijuana for the first time. and what they thought was happening to them afterwards!

  • Beth

    And the first person to eat an oyster. Just getting the shell open would discourage all but the truly starving. I know many people love raw oysters, but I prefer mine fried.

    Beth in Taos

  • Anonymous

    Poke ( a southern green akin to mustard greens) has to picked in the right season, boiled, the water drained off, boiled again – or it kills you

    How many experiments did it take to get THAT right?


  • Karen Fayeth

    L – lol! Yeah, so primitive man is all "duuuuude" and his friend is all "dude?" and the third guy is all "I could SO go for some woolly mammoth jerky right now…"

    How they ever tried the mary jane the first time without a 7-Eleven handy, I'll never know… :)

  • Karen Fayeth

    Emmett – good god, I didn't know that!

    Wow, truly taking one (or several) for the team.

    And ya can't even say "well, if you are hungry enough, you'll eat anything" because if you are hungry enough, are you really going to take the time to boil something TWICE? I think not. At that point nibble some dandelion greens and be done with it.

  • Karen Fayeth

    Beth – Yeah, I'm a raw oyster girl. Love 'em! Fried are good too! I sort of like all sea creatures in a shell…lobster, crab, shrimp, oysters, clams, mussels, etc.

    But you are right. Who looked at that pale glob and thought "tasty!"

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