Ethical Eating

Nance Yellow Cherries Taste Like Disappointment

My editor found a Honduran Market in Fort Lauderdale and decided to go on a shopping spree. Thankfully, he didn't return with a basket of pig brains or things that look like tapeworms. I'm still left with quite a few questionable-looking items sitting on my desk that I'm required to eat at some point or another. This week, I decided to take on the one that looked the least promising: Nance Yellow Cherries made by a company called Dismex.

The jar of cherries does not look appetizing. Behind the white label hides a mess of "yellow cherries" that look more like cat eyes with the irises scooped out. Shaking the jar produces a cloud of little yellow particles that float between the "cherries" and really make the whole thing look like a snow globe in an aspiring warlock's bedroom. A few of the "cherries" are smashed open, showing the pits inside their yellow flesh and making my stomach turn. Not wanting to concentrate on how gross this all looked, I decided to pry off the top and get this all over with.

After opening the jar, I can't figure out what it smells like. There's

almost a touch of vinegar to the bouquet, and it brings me back to the

chili-radish nightmare from a few months back. Before I can close the

jar and move on to a different item from my desk, a fork plunges into

the abyss and comes up with a couple of cherries. The boss pops one into

his mouth, thus forcing me to do the same or risk the next 20

things on my desk being horribly inedible.

The first thing we both notice is the complete lack of sweetness. We'd

assumed they might be unripe cherries put into a sweet liquid to

balance out the sour taste, but that most certainly isn't the case.

Instead, they have a salty, bitter flavor that gets more powerful the

longer it sits on my tongue. More perplexing than the flavor, though, is

the consistency. Despite the fact these cherries are clearly soaking in

liquid for God-only-knows how long, they're actually dry. Like

reconstituted raisins trying to pass as grapes, these cherries wouldn't

be mistaken for their red brothers by anyone alive. In fact, they're

more likely to be confused with olives or green tomatoes than cherries.

I ate another, just to confirm my suspicions, and after spitting out

the pit, I swore off yellow cherries for the rest of my life.

Who should eat these? People out of bitters looking for something to

put in their drink and those who enjoy the taste of disappointment.

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Brett Gillin