Aliens in the Fruit Basket; Sci-Fi Fruit and Vegetables

Browsing the exotic markets, bazaars and souks of the world it’s easy for the imagination to go wild in these alien environments. The stalls are often filled with unfamiliar items, especially the weird and wonderful fruit and vegetables often on display. Colourful and oddly shaped they could easily be straight off the set of a science fiction movie.

Fruit and vegetables; Chillies for sale in the souk at Seeb near Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory -144-1 red_chillies

Not the Red Hot Chilli Peppers expected?

Garlic cloves in close up on a fruit an vegetable stall in the village of Arrens-Marsous in the Val d’Azun of the French Pyrenees on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain_Mallory_02179-1 garlic

Sticks and cloves

Looking at the image below it is difficult not to imagine Sigourney Weaver with an entourage of futuristically equipped marines moving cautiously among the cocoons of dreaded aliens. Atmospheric music adding to the tension until suddenly a capsule opens and a multi-legged alien infant springs out to start face sucking the nearest human being, and not in a romantic way! Cue erratic camera motion and scene jumping as thousands of space-age rounds get fired in every possible direction within the confines of the extra-terrestrial craft, miraculously without a single ricochet harming anybody.

Alien fruit and vegetables in the La Boqueria market near Las Rambles in Barcelona capital of Catalonia in Spain on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photographyIain Mallory-300-95 strange_vegetables

Fruit, vegetables or alien cocoons?

Back on earth, there is plenty to enjoy about souks, they pulse and throb with activity, locals and tourists mingling for different motives. Narrow, bustling aisles that require careful navigation, the aromatic incense and spices which fill the air and the sounds of stallholders plying their trade. They call out to the passers-by, advertising their wares and latest offers until a potential customer  attracts their attention, beginning a seemingly conspiratorial hushed negotiation to get the best price.

A stall selling limes in a souk in Seeb in the Sultanate of Oman on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory -134 market_oman

Common limes …… maybe

Locals pick carefully from the stalls offering fresh fruit and vegetables, expertly squeezing them for ripeness and weighing up their suitability for dinner that evening. Tourists are often stopped dead in their tracks, squinting and staring, picking up the bizarre organic objects just trying to recognise what is in their hand. It is akin to an antique roadshow with many items designed and produced in the past appearing totally alien to our 21st century eyes.

Hanging cured meats in the market at Lyon in Rhône-Alpes region of France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-60-1 cured_meats

Meats getting in on the alien look

This is a large part of the appeal, the strange vibrancy of the produce adding to the overall feel of being immersed in an alien culture. We are much more used to colourful but otherwise quite bland fruit in comparison, tomatoes, apples, strawberries, potatoes or even artichokes pale beside the multitude of remarkable organic produce found in the markets of South America and Africa or the souks of Oman or Morocco.

Not just fruit and vegetables in the central market in Riga capital city of Latvia one of the Baltic countries on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-13

Somethings are better not identified

They often have equally funky names such as Jabuticaba, African Horned Melon, Cherimoya or Buddha’s Hand any of which will either intrigue or discourage curious tourists.

Green chillies in the impromptu market at Baracoa on the Caribbean island of Cuba on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-75 green_chillies

Some like it hot

Possibly the ‘king’ of strange fruits is the durian; which for those that can overcome it’s pungent aroma has a taste described as both heavenly and addictive. The prickly fruit is actually banned in many public places throughout Southeast Asia and yet has an almost fanatical following. It maybe given much praise for flavour but its distinctive odour is often described as similar to rotting onions, sweaty socks, vomit, roadkill and even raw sewage. Hardly likely to endear it to many westerners and yet trying a durian is a “must do” experience for any visitor.

The manner in which strange fruit and vegetables are photographed can obviously accentuate their weirdness and even relatively familiar produce is given an alien makeover if an unusual perspective is found.

Strange fruit and vegetables in the souk in the fishing village of Seeb near Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory -139 alien_veggies

Weird enough

It is the genuinely bizarre fruit and vegetables which will continue to attract  attention from lenses however. Take the close-up image below; I challenge anybody to look at it and not recall scenes from “Invasion of the Bodysnatchers”.

Strange fruit and vegetables in the souk in the fishing village of Seeb near Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory -138-1 weird_fruit

Stranger than fiction

Perhaps this is a case of look and don’t touch, after all who knows what may happen if you take some of these alien fruit and vegetables home!

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Comments 6

  1. Canada's Boomergirl

    A wonderful neighbour of ours used to surprise deliver us soup made from bitter melons (I think your last pic is of them). Our doorbell would ring and there she’d be cupping a large bowl of melon soup. Always delivered piping hot and always delicious. Your pix are gorgeous.

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      Iain

      That sounds like a great neighbour and the soup sounds really tasty, guessing you often looked forward to the doorbell ringing 🙂

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  2. Charli l Wanderlusters

    I have to say I’m not very adventurous when it comes to meat. I can just about manage chicken and beef, pork if it’s disguised in a sauce. However I love sampling the delights of exotic fruit and vegetables! I’m house sitting in New Zealand at the moment and have been charged with tending a rather bountiful veg garden. I’m thoroughly enjoying sampling home grown kumera, figs and citrus fruits! Thanks for the inspiration! Cracking photography by the way.

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      Iain

      Thanks Charli I’m glad you enjoyed the photography. I can understand your point of view being more adventurous with fruit than meat. Maybe it’s a sweet thing too as it seems a little easier to accept a strange sweet tasting fruit than a potentially foul tasting meat products 😉

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