Honestly, I don’t know what took so long. I’ve been waiting for months now for the shoe to drop. Each new visit to the fresh market fills me with trepidation. Finally, the last visit’s haul seems to confirm my fears. Here come the bad grapefruit.
I only mention this as a reminder. You already know, but it serves as background: I’m a native Floridian. And I grew up in the 60’s.
That last line means most of us lived in residential homes. During our times in homes, we always had fruit trees. Thus was born my love of Florida fruit, of which grapefruit is my favorite.
Probably my favorite fruit of all is the blueberry. But, for Florida grown, it’s the grapefruit. Peeled, scooped or squeezed, gimme a grapefruit at any point of the day and I will give you a smile. I say, without hubris, that Florida grapefruit is regarded as the finest grapefruit grown in the world (except by Texans).
So, last year, when Hurricane Irma came through and devastated the groves up north, I cried in anticipation of my soon-to-be loss. Pictures of the groves up there were chilling.
But…the grapefruits I’ve been eating and squeezing this year have been nothing short of fantastic! This is not hyperbole. They have been a rich red color, full of juice and sweet as can be.
And it scared the daylights out of me.
When will I see the results of Irma? What can possibly explain all these excellent grapefruit?
Well, I did read up on the matter. It turns out that, of the crop that remains, those grapefruit do benefit from the increased rainfall. But, then comes the problem – less to go around and less groves to grow more.
So, when I got my last batch of grapefruits, I was dismayed, but not shocked, to see a yellower, grainier fruit. A little more tart, as well.
Ironically, the same day, the paper published the predictions for this year’s hurricane season. It reminded me that hurricane season starts in less than two months.
Hopefully, the storms steer clear of our recovering groves. Yes, hopefully, all of us, but please don’t hit those groves two years in a row. I don’t want to have to cut open another grapefruit, sigh and, with my shoulders slumping, have to think, Here come the bad grapefruit.