are helpful guides—
but we should keep
on the literature.
Suppose someone tells you that the way to peel a fruit is to break the stem and pull away the skin. You find that
this works well with bananas and
you adjust it for oranges. Then you
discover that it doesn’t work with
apples; you need a paring instrument,
or perhaps you need not peel it at all.
© Gale Zucker
The skin is scrumptious, as it turns
out. With melons, you hit a new obstacle. You can’t peel them
or bite into them; they must be cut open. But it’s worth it—
especially for cantaloupes! When you come to pomegranates,
the original method slips your mind in your eagerness to try
the fruit—look at those dark gems, those rivulets of red.
Eventually, you develop methods of getting into any fruit
that depend on what you know and what you can intuit.
The original strategy applied to a few fruits only—which
is fine because it wasn’t a grand theory, just a means to the
Now suppose you visit a place where people go through
elaborate rituals every time they consume a fruit. Instead
of just peeling or cutting the fruit, they have to name their
strategy for fruit opening, turn and talk about the strategy,
and (after eating the fruit) talk again about how the strategy
served them well. You would likely feel that something