388: Fuck Grapefruit
Title text: Coconuts are so far down to the left they couldn't be fit on the chart. Ever spent half an hour trying to open a coconut with a rock? Fuck coconuts.
This comic consists of a chart where Randall has plotted fruits according to two criteria: ease/difficulty to eat on the horizontal axis, and tastiness on the vertical axis. The Y-axis goes from "tasty" at the top, to "untasty" at the bottom. The X-axis goes from "easy" on the right to "difficult" on the left.
For instance, pineapples are deemed fairly tasty but very difficult to eat, whereas (seeded) grapes are very tasty and somewhat easy, and logically seedless grapes are roughly equally tasty but easier to eat.
Obviously being easy to eat is preferable to being difficult, and being tasty is preferable to being untasty, so the "best" fruits (regarding these two aspects only) are in the top-right corner, and the worst in the bottom-left; additionally, in the top-left corner are the "difficult-but-worthy" fruits, and in the bottom-right one, the "not-so-tasty-but-easy-anyway" ones.
The individual ratings of each fruit are subjective; very obviously in the case of tastiness, and more subtly for difficulty. Randall does not explain his criteria for ranking the difficulty of each fruit, and it is likely based on simply personal experiences. Someone who has grown up in an area where pineapples are plentiful is likely to be more adept at skillfully preparing them. The discrepancies between how Randall has rated certain fruits and how others believe they should have been rated caused a surprising level of controversy.
According to the chart, Grapefruit is the third hardest fruit to eat as well as the second least tasty fruit (from the ones listed at least). Eating one of them is like spending too much of one's time and energy without much reward. Hence Randall's quip in the title: "Fuck grapefruit".
The comic created a lot of controversy at the time of its release. Nine years later a comic about the best tasting foods 1811: Best-Tasting Colors where released, which also generated a lot of talk. That comic indicated that Randall had changed his taste over the years.
In the title text Randall mentions coconuts. Randall mentions that he would have to put them so far down to the left on the chart (not far down, just far down towards the left), that they would not fit in this chart. He thus states that it is so much more difficult to eat (especially to open) coconuts than the usual mainstream fruits such as the ones plotted here. If he did include coconuts in the chart the rest of the fruits would all be pushed to the right side of the chart. He does not say that he does not like to eat the fruit. (Although it has "nut" in its name, the coconut is actually a stone fruit and thus belongs on a chart of fruit.) Having spent half an hour trying (in vain?) to open a coconut, Randall also only has one thing to say about them: "Fuck coconuts".
In 1701: Speed and Danger another scatter plot shows exactly what happens when one point is inserted into such a plot if it is far removed from all the other points, in this case even on both axes.
Note that Randall uses similar diagrams in both 1242: Scary Names and 1501: Mysteries which also contain different items. Both of these also have an extra point mentioned in the title text, but only the first is also off the chart, whereas for the second the description of the point is too long to fit on the chart. Extra info outside the chart is also used in the title text of 1785: Wifi, but this is a line graph.
The table below lists approximate coordinates for each fruit using a scale of -100% (untasty/difficult) to 100% (tasty/easy). The coordinates are based on the included fruits, any new items added outside the current range (e.g. Coconuts) would cause the scales to be reassigned, and thus change the coordinate values of existing items.
The coordinates have been found by measuring each fruit from the center of the drawing (not the center of mass, but center from left to right/top to bottom) to the two axes. The axes are hand drawn which is clearly visible. The numbers have been obtained by measuring to the nearest point of each axis, not taking into account that the axes are not perfect straight perpendicular lines.
|100%||68%||Peaches||Among Randall's favorite fruits, as it is the one deemed most tasty and it is far tastier than the four fruits that are deemed easier to eat. While it does contain a stone/pit which may be annoying due to the disposal of the sticky remains, it's large enough to eat around and Randall apparently sees it not to be that big a problem in the long run.|
|85%||13%||Seeded grapes||Randall apparently subscribes to the theory that seeded grapes are tastier than unseeded grapes due to higher genetic diversity but are harder to eat because of the seeds.|
|75%||75%||Strawberries||Actually not a berry but an accessory fruit, like many of the other fruits on the chart|
|72%||100%||Seedless grapes||Randall apparently subscribes to the theory that seeded grapes are tastier than unseeded grapes due to higher genetic diversity but are harder to eat because of the seeds.|
|68%||-100%||Pineapples||Requires a knife to prepare and can be tricky to dissect without wasting a lot of the fruit.|
|58%||87%||Blueberries||Usually not listed as a fruit but as a berry although this is still a type of fruit.|
|38%||42%||Cherries||Containing a stone/pit which may be annoying due to the disposal of the sticky remains and taking care not to swallow them.|
|37%||66%||Pears||Most people will not eat the core of the pear and is thus left with some sticky part that needs to be disposed of.|
|22%||79%||Green apples||Most people will not eat the apple core and is thus left with some sticky part that needs to be disposed of. It is unclear why green apples are shown as tastier than red.|
|17%||59%||Plums||Containing a stone/pit which may be annoying due to the disposal of the sticky remains and taking care not to swallow them.|
|15%||-20%||Watermelons||Surprisingly considered by Randall to be easier than oranges, which are fairly easy to peel. A watermelon is larger, so the effort to reward ratio is better, but this shouldn't affect its 'ease of eating' position. On the other hand, it is easy to cut a watermelon into edible pieces. You cannot cut an orange like this and they can sometimes be very difficult to peel and you will get very sticky when trying. This can be avoided with the watermelon.|
|-12%||79%||Red apples||Most people will not eat the apple core and is thus left with some sticky part that need to be disposed. It is unclear why green apples are shown as tastier than red; in his "What If?" book, Randall mentions a specific dislike of "red delicious" apples.|
|-18%||16%||Bananas||Shown in the chart as difficult to eat, even though they are among the most easily peeled fruit. This could be because of the skin which must be disposed of, or the stringy pith which some people refuse to eat and thus have to pick off. Also, you do have to peel it, which is not the case for the easier fruits.|
|-20%||-85%||Pomegranates||Pomegranates have a very large number of tart, juice-filled arils surrounded in inedible pith and a fairly tough skin. Retrieving the arils is notoriously messy.|
|-46%||-49%||Oranges||Considered more difficult than lemons, perhaps due to the layer of pith which is rarely encountered when preparing lemons.|
|-74%||26%||Tomatoes||The culinary arts, nutritional sciences, and United States tax and customs regulations all treat tomatoes as a vegetable, mostly due to its taste. In the botanical sense, however, it is actually a fruit (specifically, a berry).|
|-86%||-75%||Grapefruit||Grapefruits are very difficult fruit to peel, and thus eat. They are also deemed very untasty. ie. "Fuck grapefruit."|
|-100%||-15%||Lemons||Considered easier than oranges, perhaps due to the layer of pith which is rarely encountered when preparing lemons. Very untasty in and of themselves; lemons are a common baking ingredient, but are so sour they are rarely eaten as a fruit.|
- [An X-Y scatter plot of fruit where both axes have arrows in both ends. At the end of each arrow is a label.]
- [The X-axis from left to right:]
- [The Y-axis from top to bottom:]
- [The fruit names are listed here below from top to bottom according to the how tasty the fruit is, not necessarily in the same order that the names are written if one fruit is tall/large and the other low:]
- Seeded grapes
- Seedless grapes
- Green apples
- Red apples
- As evident from the above section, and according to FRUIT OPINIONS! on the Blag, this was the most controversial comic written to this point, beating out comics about cunnilingus, the Obama endorsement, and my making 4chan tiny on the map of the internet.
- Cunnilingus see 136: Science Fair.
- The Obama endorsement See Politics also from the Blag.
- 4chan is tiny on the map of the internet called 256: Online Communities. (See the small island to the far right - left of "dragons" in the sentence Here there be anthropomorphic dragons.)
- Not to be confused with the comic that is actually named 195: Map of the Internet.
- A later food taste comic 1811: Best-Tasting Colors also generated a lot of talk on these pages (see more about it below).
- Similarly the talk page for 1534: Beer was also used a lot because Randall said he did not like beer.
- So it seems that food is almost as sensitive as politics, although Randall's endorsement of Hillary Clinton in 1756: I'm With Her the day before the presidential election in 2016 where Donald Trump won, seems to have generated even more talk here than any food related comic.
Change of taste
Later, in 1811: Best-Tasting Colors, Randall once again rates food taste in general but this time based on the color of the food. So not just fruit and nothing about how easy it s to eat. There are, however, several of the fruits from this charts included, but not grapefruit. Instead it is the similar names purple grapes that is rated as the worst fruit on the chart with less than 1.5 on a scale from 1-9. This is interesting as he did not include those in this chart, but has rated green/white grapes very high in tastiness. It seems like he has altered his taste over the nine years between releases since lemon which was the worst taste on this chart has moved up to 3/9 while Oranges have moved further down to a 2/9. Watermelon is also included (both for pink and green) with 6/9 making it seem better than in this chart. Green apples has also moved almost to the top with nearly 8/9 vs. only just above 50% here. Finally there is cherry (as good as the apple) and strawberry (8.5/9), which fits here for strawberry, but it seems like cherries has moved up a notch. Three fruits not included here are Lime (as lemon), and red and blue raspberries (5.5/9). But it turns out that the worst taste for Randall is not grape, but licorice at 1/9, with both popcorn and coffee worse than grape at about 1.5/9 . The best is cotton candy which beats strawberry by a nose.
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