*Disclaimer: This piece may contain what some consider to be TMI, as evident from the unorthodox title, which identifies the content within to contain both a “shower” and an “orange”*
Yes, I might be crazy. But “crazy” is a relative description, and I certainly enjoy investigating life’s seemingly odder notions. Consequently, when I heard an NPR story regarding a reddit craze loosely known as “the shower orange”, I had to do some hands on peels off research myself.
Having been born in America’s largest orange producing state, I grew up loving the delicious fruit in all its incarnations, be they slices, juices, or flavored sweets. As such, when I heard about the shower orange phenomenon, it was orange game on.
Basically the story goes that noming on the delicious sun orbs while basking in humid mist is the best thing since…well, that actually sounds better than any sliced bread I’ve ever had. The NPR piece explains the trend in much more adult detail – even analyzing the science behind the seeming magic.
Unfortunately, I’m as much of a scientist as I am an orangeoisseur, but I am a detailed observer, and as such, am happy to share my own insights on this juicy experiment.
First thing’s first. You probably have to at least already like oranges to get anything useful out of this experience. If not, then I wouldn’t bother. Maybe try another fruit? I’m particularly looking forward to testing grapes or some other low-latitude tropical wonder berries. But I’m getting ahead of my produce.
The next step – and I can’t stress this enough – is to choose a GOOD orange. I was fortunate enough to find that mine contained quite quality material inside. Some fruits and subsequent fruit eaters, are not always so lucky. I could see mealy innards utterly destroying one’s already uneasy expedition into the fruit-hygiene realm. I happened to use a Florida Navel. I have no idea how a Blood Orange or, say, Tangelo might fare, but I can state without reservation that you’ll just want to make sure that you’ve got a fresh, tasty batch of sweet treats, whichever fruit family you so pick from.
Lighting is important. I typically shower with dimmer illumination to simulate the aura of a sauna. Not that I’ve ever been in a sauna, but it’s along the lines of what I imagine the mood of one to resemble. Anyway, there’s an unnerving itch when one steps into a laxly lit shower ready to devour a bright hand fruit. The elements just seem askew.
Time for things to change.
As such, I sacrifice my sweat lodge vibe for the sake of science, or oranges, or…whatever, and crank up the overhead glow. Ahh, that’s more like it. Standing with steamy streams trickling down my back, I look at the miracle of nature in my hand, and for the first time think, So what the hell do I do now?
Open it, duh. Yet for me this isn’t so simple. I practice a very stringent and strange yet consistent and effective orange slicing process. Basically I cut the damn thing into eight equal pieces and then trim off the inner pith. This system quickly results in slightly smaller but more devourable slices of juicy goodness.
No knife here now though. However good this might turn out, I am suddenly reminding myself of my just-now created no-shower-knife policy. Instead I dig my thumb into the tiny polar circle apparently known as the “pedicel” according to Google.
Right away the fresh scent blooms within my humid cubicle – a foreign yet strangely welcome fruity fragrance. Though as soon as I become fully immersed within this luxurious aroma, a new challenge arises: what the f do I do with the rinds??
Fortunately my shower has a flat-bottom rack that apparently doubles just fine for orange waste storage. But I could see this being quite an issue if one doesn’t have a convenient surface placed out of water’s reach upon which to store their discarded produce. The last thing you’d want are rinds in your drain. Perhaps a plastic bag will suffice as well, but like most great battles, do take notes of what terrain you have to work with here, kids.
And so the bits of peel pile up until I have about half the mantle exposed. Mind you, this is quite unlike my normal utilitarian process of equal slicing. I am on new grounds, in more figurative ways than one. Still, I’ve come too far, and this orange looks too damn tasty. I bite into my first ever shower fruit.
And another bite…and another…
Yes, I think. Yes, this works.
*Side note: I also enjoy a good shower beer, and or coffee from time to time, but that’s a whole other thing for another rant*
Interestingly, this turns out to be the most I’ve ever gotten out of an orange. Figuratively and literally. Maybe it’s the enjoyment of such contrastingly cold nourishment within my balmy, micro-steamworld. Or maybe the fact that I am left with no wasted collateral inner pith – the most efficient orange I’ve ever consumed. Just peels stacked and ready to be discarded. Any wayward extra juice? No muss no fuss!
Maybe it’s an amalgamation of all these factors. But whatever the case, I find the whole experience to be – and apologies in advance – quite “appeeling”.
Important lessons learned:
- Make sure you pick a GOOD quality orange;
- Atmosphere is important; turn up the lights to make it an orange party;
- Disposal is key – figure this out before ye enter;
Have suggestions/experiences with other shower fruits? I’m (sorta) (kinda?) interested in maybe (probably not really) what you have to say in the comments below!