April fools day is a time when jokers play some harmless pranks. I thought I would share a few botany related pranks involving fruit and vegetables. Over the years, April the 1st has been a date when some plants have existed for just one day!
In 2009, Waitrose placed adverts in newspapers announcing the availability of ‘Pinanas’ – A new fruit combined of a pineapple and a banana:
“Pinanas. Fresh in today and exclusive to Waitrose. If you find that all Waitrose pinanas have sold out, don’t worry, there’s 50% off our essential Waitrose strawberries.”
In 2002, Tesco advertised the successful development of the modified ‘whistling carrot’. According to the advert, the carrots had been engineered to produce air holes on the side. When the carrot was cooked, the air holes allowed it to whistle!
“The world of science was rocked today with the dramatic news that Tesco had successfully developed a genetically modified carrot which emits a 97-decibel signal when it reaches its optimum cooking temperature.”
My favorite has to be the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest from 1957. The BBC Panorama programme provided a short segment highlighting the successful spaghetti harvest taking place in southern Switzerland. Richard Dimbleby, the host, discussed the spaghetti crop while the audience watched footage of families harvesting the bumper crop from ‘spaghetti trees’.
At the time, pasta wasn’t an everyday food in the UK and the British public was very naive with regard spaghetti. The BBC received a number of calls following the broadcast seeking advice on growing their own spaghetti trees.
“place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best”
If you’re not one for pranking, why don’t you enjoy some fool eating instead?