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Thus much, then, for the various classes and kinds of fruit: it will be as well now to classify their various natures within a more limited scope. Some fruits grow in a pod which is sweet itself, and contains a bitter seed: whereas in most kinds of fruit the seed is agreeable to the palate, those which grow in a pod are condemned. Other fruits are berries, with the stone within and the flesh without, as in the olive and the cherry: others, again, have the berry within and the stone without, the case, as we have already stated, with the berries that grow in Egypt.1

Those fruits, known as "pomes," have the same characteristics as the berry fruits; in some of them we find the body of the fruit within and the shell without, as in the nut, for example; others, again, have the meat of the fruit without and the shell within, the peach and the plum, for instance: the refuse part being thus surrounded with the flesh, while in other fruits the flesh is surrounded by the refuse part.2 nuts are enclosed in a shell, chesnuts in a skin; in chesnuts the skin is taken off, but in medlars it is eaten with the rest. Acorns are covered with a crust, grapes with a husk, and pomegranates with a skin and an inner membrane. The mulberry is composed of flesh and juice, while the cherry consists of juice and skin. In some fruits the flesh separates easily from the woody part, the walnut and the date, for instance; in others it adheres, as in the case of the olive and the laurel berry: some kinds, again, partake of both natures, the peach, for example; for in the duracinus3 kind the flesh adheres to the stone, and cannot be torn away from it, while in the other sorts they are easily separated. In some fruits there is no stone or shell4 either within or without, one variety of the date,5 for instance. In some kinds, again, the shell is eaten, just the same as the fruit; this we have already mentioned as being the case with a variety of the almond found in Egypt.6 Some fruits have on the outside a twofold refuse covering, the chesnut, the almond, and the walnut, for example. Some, again, are composed of three separate parts—the body of the fruit, then a woody shell, and inside of that a kernel, as in the peach.

Some fruits grow closely packed together, such as grapes and sorbs: these last, just like so many grapes in a cluster, cling round the branch and bend it downwards with their weight. On the other hand, some fruits grow separately, at a distance from one another; this is the case with the peach. Some fruits are enclosed in a sort of matrix, as with the grains of the pomegranate: some hang down from a stalk, such as the pear, for instance: others hang in clusters, grapes and dates, for example. Others, again, grow upon stalks and bunches united: this we find the case with the berries of the ivy and the elder. Some adhere close to the branches, like the laurel berry, while other varieties lie close to the branch or hang from it, as the case may be: thus we find in the olive some fruit with short stalks, and others with long. Some fruits grow with a little calyx at the top, the pomegranate, for example, the medlar, and the lotus7 of Egypt and the Euphrates.

Then, too, as to the various parts of fruit, they are held in different degrees of esteem according to their respective recommendations. In the date it is the flesh that is usually liked, in those of Thebais it is the crust;8 the grape and the caryota date are esteemed for their juice, the pear and the apple for their firmness, the melimelum9 for its soft meat, the mulberry for its cartilaginous consistency, and nuts for their kernels. Some fruits in Egypt are esteemed for their skin; the carica,10 for instance. This skin, which in the green fig is thrown away as so much refuse peeling, when the fig is dried is very highly esteemed. In the papyrus,11 the ferula,12 and the white thorn13 the stalk itself constitutes the fruit, and the shoots of the fig-tree14 are similarly employed.

Among the shrubs, the fruit of the caper15 is eaten along with the stalk; and in the carob,16 what is the part that is eaten but so much wood? Nor ought we to omit one peculiarity that exists in the seed of this fruit—it can be called neither flesh, wood, nor cartilage, and yet no other name has been found for it.

1 The fruit of the ben, or myrobalanus, the Balanites Ægyptiaca. See B. xiii. cc. 17 and 19.

2 Viaticum,.

3 Hard-berry or nectarine. See c. 11.

4 Lignum: literally, "wood." "There is no wood, either within or without." He has one universal name for what we call shell, seed, stones, pips, grains, &c.

5 The "spado," or "eunuch" date. See B. xiii. c. 8.

6 See B. xiii. c. 17. The fruit of the ben is alluded to, but, as Fée observes, Pliny is wrong in calling it an almond, as it is a pulpy fruit.

7 The Nymphæa nelumbo of Linnæus.

8 Or shell, which, as Fée remarks, participates but very little in the properties of the flesh.

9 Or "honey" apple; see c. 15 of this Book.

10 Or "Carian" fig. See c. 19 of this Book.

11 See B. xiii. c. 11.

12 See B. xiii. c. 42, and B. xx. cc. 9 and 23.

13 See B. xiii. c. 26, and B. xxiv. c. 66.

14 See B. xiii. c. 22. Fée remarks that it is singular how the, ancients could eat the branches of the fig-tree, the juice being actually a poison.

15 See B. xiii. c. 44.

16 See c. 26 of this Book.

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