As kids, we used to follow the ploughmen in the fields: the plough would often dig out sweet potatoes that we picked up and ate grilled. Mostly red and brown in colour, they were of all sizes and forms: small, big, bent, ill-formed, round. Yet, one thing was sweetly common: they all tasted delicious.

And we used to climb up on mango trees: two identical mangoes, vis-à-vis their size, shape, form, weight, colour and taste, were impossible to come across. In fact, the same law applies to all kinds of fruits and vegetables. After all, if two human beings or two animals are never similar, there is no reason why two carrots or two turnips should look alike.

Now, let us imagine a scenario where our fussy and sophisticated palate dictates to nature, or more unjustly, to the market gardener: each fruit or vegetable should strictly be of the same size, form, shape, taste, colour and weight. Else, such products will be barred from being sold in the market. What will happen, then? Well, nature will uproariously laugh at the sheer stupidity of man, the market gardener will go mad and the life-giving products will rot in the ditches, amid salty sweat and tears of the farmers.

Sadly, that’s what the Europeans have been doing for decades. Fruits and vegetables not meeting such criteria — that their size, weight and colour should be similar and their forms should be perfect — are prevented from reaching the markets, as if fruits and vegetables were like fashion models: size, shape, form, weight and colour all count. All the same, a sea change is likely to hit the European markets this summer: fruits and vegetables not exactly up to the mark aesthetically will finally make inroads into the market there.

Hope these crooked, cursed and curvy fruits and vegetables will be treated on an equal footing with their well-shaped siblings.

Now, what about our market? Well, they are unfailingly filled with “bent, ill-formed and unshapely” fruits and vegetables. And that’s absolutely welcome: it seems they are the most ‘organic’ ones! Else, why should Europe take a sudden shine to these long-hated products? Hats off, therefore, to the far-off continent for finally getting down to the brass tacks!