When picking out oranges the first thing you need to ask yourself is, “What kind of orange do I want?”
There are many factors that influence this: mood, age, weight — even zodiac sign. Say you’re a female Taurus, for example, age 29, with a streak for lust. You want a blood orange (obviously). Say you’re a middle-aged Sagittarius who’s just gotten out of a tough relationship and needs a bit of a pick me up. This is tricky; most people would say navel orange (it’s comfort food) but what you really want is more subtle: a tangerine. Finally, say you’re an aging professor who’s just retired and you wake up one morning feeling confused and jaded. What to buy? A clementine.
Once you figure out what kind of orange you want (though maybe “citrus” would be more appropriate since some of the aforementioned aren’t oranges), the next step is to pick a good one. But how do you know if it’s good?
Oh, the age-old debate. Except it’s not age-old because the answer is clear: unlike a pudgy middle-school student prone to getting bullied, a good orange needs thin skin. Thin skin signifies the following: dense, juicy nutrient-rich goodness inside. So pick up the orange. Toss it around. Feel it.
Weight is a huge factor when picking an orange. Generally, the heavier the better. You’re looking for a cannonball, not a whiffle ball. Why? Because liquid is heavy. Juicy is heavy.
Which means you should really be focusing on the most important factor of all:
When picking an orange, density is king. Or possibly queen. Or possibly duke. Or possibly duchess. Or possibly prince.
Have you ever opened an orange to an aerated, desiccated mess? Makes you want to scream, right? Or stick your hand through a window and watch it bleed? Measuring orange density is a skill that can only be acquired through one activity: picking up lots of oranges. If you don’t think you’re a good density judge, go to the grocery store and spend an afternoon picking up every single orange they have. Small and heavy? Dense and good. Big and light? Not so dense, not so good.
This one’s a bit mystic, and rightly so — finding good oranges is a mystical experience. For example: Pick up two oranges, and hold them away from your body. Now say the syllable “Om” and hold it for 30 seconds. Then say the syllable “Re” and hold it for 30 seconds. If you’ve done it right, one of the oranges should appear higher when you open your eyes. This is not the one you want. You want the lower orange (it’s probably heavier). However, if you don’t have time to do this, you can revert to the age-old standby: Talk to your produce. Talk to them the same why you might talk to a dog. “Who’s a good orange? Who’s a good orange?”
Bottom line, don’t be afraid to get a little wacky. Because there’s only one thing wackier than talking to your fruit or picking up 100 different oranges. And that’s eating a bad one.