"Reine- Claude", "Melancia", "Oreo" : beware of false appearances...
Queen Claude of France, (first) wife of François Ier
"Claudia" is not a very common name. In recent times I got acquainted to a fellow-blogger, whose blog I thoroughly recommend, "O Mundo de Claudia" at http://claudia.weblog.com.pt But what "claudia" evokes with a strong and pungent whiff of Youth nostalgia are Summers filled with indulgent eating of small greenish prunes, the "reine-claude".
The "Reine-Claude" designation for those Mesopotamia-born prunes points to the role of Queen Claude in making her Royal Gardeners succeed in the acclimatization of the species in France. They are superb fruits but a bit of a paradox. What their surface tells us is different from what lies deep down at the core of the fruit.
Johan De Fre's "Reine Claudes". oil on canvas 5'' x 8''
The Reine-Claude can be entirely green on the outside, pretending to be slightly acid, youngish and immature, when the pulp tells us a different story. Mature, deliciously sweet. The Frogs call it the "Queen Of Prunes", a fruit of the Sun par excéllence, achieving her maturity only at the end of July and allowing herself to be enjoyed for only six short brief weeks. A conundrum fruit, indeed. "Reine-Claude" are all those no longer that young ladies that Nature and good Cosmetics make them look juvenile and "green", while they are in fact perfectly ripe to be tasted.
Another such paradoxical fruit is the "Pastèque", the "Melancia", the huge green mellon who's heart is red. Sometime ago the ecologist militants in my country were called "Melancias" because although nominally "Green" (and members of the Green Party) they were looked upon as Trojan horses from the Communist Party, whim whom they always joined forces to battle on in General Elections. They appear to be Green but their heart was Red, that was the suspicion.
That takes me to the third "beware of illusions" item. Not a fruit but a chocolate, the "Oreo" chocolate. As you might know it is chocolate-brown on the outside but the filling is pure white. One of the worst insults an African-American can throw at another African-American ( at least according to Tom Wolfe's "A Man in Full "). A kind of successor to the "Uncle Tom" insult. An "Oreo" is a Black man that deep inside thinks and acts as a White. A kind of inverted Michael Jackson, when you come to think of it.