Today I dissed my friend Stacey's choice of lunch item. She was standing innocently by the microwave, just making conversation, commenting that she'd never tried this particular brand of pre-fab food before. So I looked and noticed that her particular selection of pre-fab food had been titled "Orange Beef." So I said, out loud, "That sounds gross."
It was a purely visceral response, and she received it with great aplomb, but a comment such as mine is only the beginning of a conversation--never should it be the ending. Together we figured out that what she was interpreting as a fruit, I was interpreting as a color. I, of course, quickly agreed that orange as a flavor is delicious, and presumably would taste good glazed over a nice chunk of pre-fab beef. Stacey also quickly allowed that she would eat orange-colored beef only under duress.
I should also say that I'm not really in any position to judge anyone's eating habits. While I was mocking Stacey's entree, I was heating up an ad-hoc combination of my Monday night's dinner (beef and spiral pasta with an onion-based sauce) with my Wednesday lunch leftovers (chicken and shells in a pesto sauce). My meal was an odd mix of earth tones--green chicken, brown beef, and a mix of tan and green noodles of varying shapes. What can I say--I was hungry.
Anyway, that's not my point. My point is that there's an odd history of blurred boundaries between fruits and vegetables, on the one hand, and colors on the other. My brother has luggage that isn't blue or purple but eggplant. My sister-in-law introduced me to the joy and frustration of blueberry picking, and she has a blackberry bush in her backyard. Banana-flavored candy doesn't taste like bananas; it tastes like crap. It's only called banana-flavored because it's yellow.
So now I'm intrigued by how fruits and vegetables and colors get commingled in culture, so let me cherry-pick your grey matter a bit:
What are your favorite cultural artifacts, mental images and cliched metaphors that employ fruits, vegetables and colors?