On Stranger Tastes: Fruits of Poseidon – new fruit for Blue Planet

Exotic fruits have long served as material focal points for the imagination of the masses. Brought back from strange and faraway places by intrepid souls, they always conveyed some of the sense of adventure associated with their discovery and stilled some of the longing for the wonders of distant lands.
Even at the cusp of the 23rd century does this still hold true, with people on Earth dreaming of the strange tastes of Poseidon’s harvest.
Imaginations of people back home be as they may, Poseidon’s natives do not solely sustain themselves on a diet of colorful alien fruit bursting with sweet juices, just as the indigenous people of the lands visited by European explorers of the age of sail did not.

Still, various crops besides the ubiquitous Poseidon potato are indeed a staple of native cuisine, many of which have also been adopted by newcomer colonists and in extension have found their way back to Earth.

Owing to the immense cost of transporting such perishable goods – especially when they have to compete for space with xenosilicate shipments – their presence on the Earth side of the wormhole is limited to a select few universities, botanical gardens, and maybe the restaurants of the most famous and daring chefs.

The issue of these imports is further compounded by the enforcement of strict quarantine procedures by the GEO (supported, for once, by the national efforts of Independent governments). Some of the Incorporates on the other hand are very actively involved in the trade with produce originating from Poseidon, often under the pretense of researching “Fischer-proof” crops.

The following are some of the most popular and striking of the edible fruits found on Poseidon:

And Berry (Rubulus formica and Myrtinum myrmecium)
The fruit known as and berries to Poseidon natives are actually the fruiting bodies of two different and unrelated plant species, sharing a habitat amongst the island chains in the northern temperate zone. While both are edible, their extremely strong tastes make them nearly unpalatable when consumed separately. Only a chance discovery led natives realize that together they not just neutralized each other, but indeed transformed into a unique delicacy. They have been cultivated and gathered together ever since.

Bat Fruit (Hydnorida kanei)
Technically a parasite, this species thrives on the roots of other plants with little to no resource value, including nuisance weeds and some dangerous poisonous or carnivorous plants. More than a form of natural herbicide, though, it is also appreciated for its high nutritional value, as a strong spice and as the basis for native insect repellents.

Dionysean Fruit (Pseudodrosera dionysis)
The vegetarian analogue to a fugu dish, the pulpy flesh of the dionysean fruit is considered an expensive and dangerous delicacy. The plant is carnivorous. Its potent digestive enzymes cover its dark spiny surface. Utmost care must be taken in peeling the fruit, less the flesh be contaminated. Severe and potentially lethal chemical burns of the oral cavity and throat can result from consuming improperly prepared dionysean fruit.

Heart Fruit (Biophytidum cupidus)
Heart fruits are noted for their refreshing taste and high vitamin content. Slices emphasizing the rough heart shape of the pinkish fruit are a traditional side dish at native weddings.

Isry (Cerasum diaspora)
The small black stone fruit analogue was discovered to be a source of many essential nutrients by the early colonists. The isry was subsequently transplanted to the location of the new settlements, when the colony began its original expansion. Depending on ripeness its taste can range from a cherrylike sweetness to an extreme sour lemon. Its uses in native dishes are accordingly manifold.

Momori (Raphanocarpoidus gallicus)
Momoris grow on and between Poseidon mangroves. They shed their large bulbous seed bodies into the open water, setting them adrift. These seed bodies can be collected after washing ashore, caught in nets or harvested from the plants before shedding. The seeds themselves can be pressed for oil, while the surrounding flesh has a savory taste somewhat reminiscent of chicken.

Neptunut (Pseudoimpatiens diabolus)
The neptunut is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and folic acid. Up to three nuts are encapsulated in a single hard woodlike shell, inside of which significant pressure builds up while the nuts are ripening. They finally burst forth with enough force to propel them up to ten meters from the parent plant. It is not unknown for bystanders to be injured by such projectiles hitting the eyes or other vulnerable parts.

Poseidon Apple (Novocerasum spp)
The various species of the genum colloquially known as the Poseidon apple are widely distributed across different habitats and regions of Poseidon. The fruits are easy to dry, salt, pickle or boil down, making them desirable for stores. Natives traditionally gather the fruits from the wild trees. Attempts by some newcomers to establish orchards have met with mixed success.

Taxuna (Pseudorosa taxiformis)
The taxuna fruit is red and fleshy with a single large seed at its center, which is easily separated from the flesh. The name was coined by the original colonists, who felt reminded of yew seeds by the appearance of the large fruit. The fist sized taxuna tastes sweet with a remarkable vanilla note to it, seldom found in Poseidon plants.

Water Pear (Piricarpus vidua)
The grayish water pear is a hardy low shrub growing on rocky shores in Poseidon’s subtropical zones. The poor substrate in this environment means that the plant produces only a single fruit and flowers only once in four years. The pear is thus considered a rare treat by natives, and gathering a wild pear is followed by a celebration in honor of the storm widow.

Range: Planetwide
Habitat: Variable
Height: Variable
Weight: Variable
Frequency: Common (individual species may be Uncommon or Rare)
Resource Value: High, source of nutrients and other substances and materials depending on species, limited export market to Earth
Threat Level: N/A (Dionysean Fruit, High; Neptunut, Minimal)
Movement: None

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