Our friend Molly Balcom is a performance artist who uses food to make us think about the environment. In a major piece at the Soap Factory, she created a whole range of flowers, plants, seeds, and roots using edible materials, and had the audience forage through the rooms, collecting specimens to be eaten as part of a picnic lunch. A character talked about humans first trying various indigenous plants: "How do we know it's delicious until we eat it?"
For 19 years we have ignored the apples growing on a tree in our yard. Didn't want to spray chemicals, so the apples tend to get spotty; then they fall and the critters get them.
This year, Augie has been picking them up. Most of the time we get to inspect before he chomps down, and he's learned to find solid whole ones, watch out for brown spots, etc. Along the way, I've discovered that our apples are crisp, tart, and juicy. Today I picked up an apple from the ground, turned it around, wiped it off, and ate it. We plan to prune the tree so the fruit is closer to the ground and we can actually do some harvesting next year.
How do we know it's delicious until we eat it?