Yes, Virginia, There Is An Apple Core

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say that apples don’t really have cores. Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; do apple cores exist?

Virginia H.
New York, New York

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the gullibility of a gullible age. They believe anything they see on YouTube. Seriously, Virginia, these friends of yours? You could do better. Did you know that Stevie wets his bed at least once a week? And Johnny picks his nose and eats the boogers when he thinks no one is looking? Do you have any idea what Sally and Jane have been saying about you behind your back? But you didn’t ask about your so-called friends; you asked about apple cores, and you deserve an answer.

State-of-the-art apple core removal technology
So many cores, so little time.

Yes, Virginia, there are apple cores. They exist as surely as the Farberware Classic Apple Corer exists, or the OXO Good Grips Apple Corer and Divider, and you know these gadgets are real because of the joy they bring on those rare and wondrous occasions when someone uses one to make a pie. Imagine how dreary the world would be without apple cores. There would be no Norpro 5103 Stainless Steel Apple Corer with Plunger, no Amco Dial-A-Slice Adjustable Apple Corer and Slicer, no R & M Industries 5920 Apple Peeler / Corer / Slicer. There would be no Apple Core Removal Technology industry at all. Do you have any idea, Virginia, how many factory workers and engineers would be out of work if there were no apple cores? Or, for that matter, if people stopped believing in apple cores? Is that something you want on your conscience?

Not believe in apple cores! You might as well not believe in Santa Claus. You might slice an apple crosswise and see no evidence of a core, but what would that prove? Have you ever seen the Tooth Fairy? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist. How else would you explain the fact that every time you leave a baby tooth under your pillow at night, it’s gone the next morning, replaced by a shiny new coin? This could only be the work of the Tooth Fairy. Or possibly the Tooth Alchemist, who transformed the tooth into a coin and then just left it there, possibly in an attempt to free the Tooth Fairy from her crippling addiction to human teeth. We’ll probably never know the details, Virginia, but the point is that even though no one has ever seen either of these entities, we can be confident in the knowledge that they exist and that they skulk around your room at night, searching for body parts.

Apple cores exist, Virginia, and they always will. Rejoice in the knowledge that you were right and your friends were wrong. You should celebrate! Eat an apple! But watch out for the core — you wouldn’t want to chip a tooth.


How to Eat Fruit (Fall Edition)

Dana from Zona Pellucida read my piece on how to eat summer fruits and asked:

Too bad I haven’t been able to read this until autumn. Are there any recommendations on how to eat fall fruits easily and safely?

Good question, Dana. Fall fruits are more challenging than summer fruits. For one thing, they’re elusive. Wikipedia’s Seasonal Food page lists a couple fruits each for winter and spring, 18 different summer fruits, and a grand total of zero fruits for fall. But don’t despair. Fall fruits do exist. They include pumpkin, apples, and … um, did I say pumpkin already?

The most important thing to remember about fall fruits is that they should always be consumed in the form of pie. Pies can be obtained in a variety of ways.

Method 1: Bake a Pie

Baking a pie is the oldest and most traditional method of pie acquisition. To bake a delicious pie featuring your favorite fruit, you will need:

  • A recipe for a delicious pie featuring your favorite fall fruit.
  • Pie ingredients, as listed in the recipe.
  • Assorted pie-making tools, such as an oven, a rolling pin, a pie pan, etc.
  1. Learn to bake.
  2. Following the directions in the recipe, bake the pie.

That’s all there is to it! What could be simpler?

Method 2: Purchase a Pie

If you don’t have time to bake a pie, you can always buy one. You will need:

  • Money.
  • The name, address, and operating hours of a reputable pie retailer (typically a grocery store, restaurant, or bakery).
  1. Go to the pie retailer during their operating hours. Bring money.
  2. Find an employee, and inform them that you wish to exchange some of your money for one of their pies. They’ll walk you through the rest of the procedure.

Method 3: Steal a Pie

Occasionally, you may find yourself unable to bake or purchase a pie. For example, you may be out of both money and pie ingredients, or you may have a sudden desire for pie late at night, when all the pie retailers in your area are closed. In that case, you’ll have to steal a pie. You will need:

  • The name, address, and operating hours of a reputable pie retailer.
  • A set of lockpicks, a crowbar, or a rock.
  • A car or other motor vehicle.
  • A friend.
  1. Have your friend drive you to the pie retailer during a time when the retailer is closed.
  2. Ask your friend to remain in the car and keep the engine running.
  3. Using the lockpicks, crowbar, or rock, enter the building.
  4. Working quickly, locate the pie storage area. This will probably be inside a refrigerator.
  5. Take a pie, leave the store, and jump into the waiting car.
  6. Instruct your friend to drive away from the pie shop.
  7. Enjoy your pie! And don’t forget to share it with your friend.

Method 4: Obtain a Pie Through Extortion

If you can’t bake or purchase a pie, and none of your friends are available to help you steal one, don’t despair — you can still obtain a pie using a simple time-honored process known as extortion. You will need:

  • The name, address, and operating hours of a reputable pie retailer.
  • A general air of intimidation.
  1. Go to the pie retailer during their operating hours.
  2. Project a general air of intimidation while entering the pie shop. Try to walk with a swagger.
  3. Maintain the swagger as you approach the pie display and pick up a pie.
  4. Say something like “Nice pie shop you’ve got here. It would be a shame if something happened to it.”
  5. Swagger out of the store with your pie.

Well, Dana, I hope this answers your question and provides you with the knowledge you’ll need to incorporate delicious and healthful autumn fruits into your diet. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with.

How to Eat Fruit

Summer fruits are delicious, but many people miss out on these healthful treats because of the amount of effort required to transform a piece of fruit from its original state into something fit to eat. With today’s modern technology, however, fruit preparation has never been simpler. The following is a step-by-step guide for enjoying some of the most commonly available fruits of the season.

How to eat a peach

Only $13.99 at Peach and hands not included.

You will need:

  1. Rinse the peach.
  2. Place the peach on a level surface.
  3. Position the slicer over the peach.
  4. Press down on the slicer.
  5. Eat the peach slices. Don’t eat the pit or the slicer.

How to eat a pear

Only $8.38 at

You will need:

  1. Rinse the pear.
  2. Place the pear on the orange-colored apple-shaped cutting board.
  3. Position the orange-colored apple-shaped slicer over the pear.
  4. Press down on the slicer.
  5. Eat the pear slices. Don’t eat the core, the slicer, or the cutting board.

How to eat a cantaloupe

Only $14.89 at

You will need:

  1. Rinse the cantaloupe.
  2. Place the cantaloupe on a level surface.
  3. Position the slicer over the cantaloupe.
  4. Press down on the slicer.
  5. Eat the cantaloupe slices. Don’t eat the slicer or the rind. Avoid the seeds.

How to eat a strawberry

Only $7.42 at

You will need:

Only $0.50 (plus $4.99 shipping) at Strawberries not included.
  1. Rinse the strawberry
  2. Grasp the strawberry firmly but gently in your left hand. Hold the StemGem in your right hand (if you’re left-handed, hold these directions up to a mirror).
  3. Press the green button on the StemGem to open the claw.
  4. Insert the claw into the stem end of the strawberry.
  5. Twist and remove the StemGem.
  6. Open the strawberry slicer.
  7. Put the hulled strawberry into the slicer.
  8. Close the slicer.
  9. Enjoy your delicious strawberry slices. Don’t eat the slicer or the StemGem.

How to eat a banana

Only $5.29 at

You will need:

My goal here has been to provide instructions that the reader can follow at home to eat a piece of fruit purchased from a grocery store or farmer’s market. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that for bananas: the peels aren’t edible, and there are no banana-peeling tools available for home use. So before you proceed with the following steps, you’ll need to have your banana professionally peeled.

  1. Place the banana on a level surface.
  2. Position the slicer over the banana.
  3. Press down on the slicer.
  4. Eat the banana slices. Don’t eat the slicer.

How to eat a blueberry

You really can eat this entire fruit in one bite.

You will need:

  • One blueberry.
  1. Rinse the blueberry.
  2. Open your mouth.
  3. Place the entire blueberry into your mouth.
  4. Close your mouth, removing any fingers that remain inside.
  5. Chew and swallow.



Update: I haven’t tried this myself, but I’ve just read an article that claims that it’s possible to peel a banana yourself at home, using only your bare hands. Proceed with caution.