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Apple Grumble

This apple was pink, but no lady

This apple was pink, but no lady

See, I was trying to do the right thing by grazing on fruit instead of sweeties in work this afternoon.
With this in mind, a stash of fruit had been procured at lunchtime, among them a couple of apples of the Pink Lady variety.

As it rolled around to apple o’clock, I proceeded to munch, but very quickly stopped in my tooth-tracks. Something was off. The apple to be exact. It tasted, well, not sour, not particularly sweet, but kindof bitter. The flesh (now that I could see it) looked a shade darker than seemed quite right for an apple.

As my brain was having a bit of difficulty reconciling the expected taste with the actual experience, I did take a second bite, just to be sure, but, after that, it was all over for the Pink Lady. Meanwhile KD was kindly offering her emergency bar of crunchie as a kind of antidote (but I was trying to avoid sweeties, wasn’t I?)

I started to take a look at the facts surrounding the food-crime:

Fact #1: The apple had looked ok from the outside, otherwise I wouldn’t have bought it.
Fact #2: Some A lot of the other fruit on display in the shop had, however, looked a little tired (and this in a shop whose very name implies that things would be otherwise).
Fact #3: I was still alive, not poisoned, I could move on, but…
Fact #4: I didn’t know if my apple had been an unlucky choice or if the rest of the pink ladies on display were equally as unpleasant (and either way, we all know the power of one bad apple)

All of which was leading me to the conclusion that the retailer should be told. Yes, after I had tossed the apple, it occured to me that I could actually have brought it back to the shop. In fact, I could still go back with my other, as yet, uneaten specimen and make them aware of the quality issue. Nothing might come of it but maybe there was a small chance that someone would listen and take note.

I then wondered how often people bring back substandard fruit and veg? I somehow suspect that, in Ireland, people don’t return with their half-eaten apples half often enough. Oh we’ll give out about it alright, but we usually don’t do so directly to the offending supplier. Whereas if we gave someone the opportunity to explain or at least be made aware of the problem, then maybe standards would improve as a result.

So will I do this thing. I will go back to the shop and tell them about my pink lady. Can I do this? Yes I can!


  1. Paul

    Go on, do it! After the initial shock maybe they’ll reconsider the quality of their fruit. Thousands of apple munchers are depending on you… My current company puts out free bowls of fruit – should be the norm

  2. Daily Spud

    So I did return to the shop with my pink lady story. They predictably suggested that it could have been the one bad apple of the bunch but did offer a replacement apple (of a different variety) and promised to spot-check their stock of pink ladies. I guess I was hoping that they would do some level of spot-checking as a matter of course, but, still, it’s something…

  3. Fearless Kitchen

    At least they offered a replacement apple. I can remember going to a grocery store here, choosing a vegetable (I think it was a bell pepper) and putting my thumb right through it. I showed the produce manager, who said, “I guess you shouldn’t buy that one then.” I don’t shop at that store anymore. Or that chain.

  4. Daily Spud

    Ouch! That attitude beggars belief.

  5. gastroanthropologist

    When I first saw the title I thought you had invented a new dessert…grumble (a new twist on the apple crumble?)! I had a similar experience a few weeks ago and was hesitant on returning the product…but the store gave me double the money back and apologized! Apples are tricky…because they store so well I bet apples that are months old are sold.

  6. Daily Spud

    Now, of course, I’m trying to think of what you might use to make an apple grumble (apart from apples that is), or perhaps an apple grumble would have no apples at all, hence the grumble… It’s one to ponder over alright!

  7. Katie

    here in California….or more specifically the Napa Valley, we are so fickle and spoiled (even at our local Safeway – the “big” store) that our stores will almost do anything to keep us coming in to shop…..we are, I suppose, lucky that way. This is especially true during the summer when we have local farmer’s markets almost every day….and now there is a big push for us all to grow our own fruits and vegetables….the hyper-local (and hyper sustainable) approach.
    So – I say – Take it back! All suppliers need to learn to pay attention!

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