We often hear, and even use this phrase to refer to a manner in which two dissimilar things are considered. But do we ever take it literally? What if we compared apples to oranges? What would we say?
Personally, I think each fruit has its place in this world. But on the whole, under most circumstances I think an apple is the better fruit to eat. First, they are less messy than oranges when you eat them as a fruit. You don't have to peel them, they are not as sticky, and the seeds are more easily avoided. Apples may also be incorporated into a wider variety of treats, like apple pie, apple bread, apple sauce, apple butter, and apple cobbler. Ever try to eat a caramel orange? Would you have to peel it before dipping it in caramel? Then again, why would you even want to try?
The one thing oranges have going for them is the juice. Orange juice is much better than apple juice or apple cider. I guess that I would also admit that on hot, dusty hikes in the desert, few things taste better than an orange, and an apple will just not hold up under those conditions.
John McPhee wrote the definitive book on Oranges. It is titled "Oranges" and is packed with 149 pages of stories, history, and facts about oranges. Did you know that in 1965, there were something like 25 billion oranges harvested? No, I bet you didn't. Do you know how many apples were harvested? I don't either. Who cares? All I know is that I had an apple tree at my old house and I don't have one here. I do have an orange tree. I will be planting gooseberries, currants and plums. Anyway, the book is a good one. I would highly recommend it to anyone with an burning interest in citrus fruit.
So which is better, apples or oranges?