How does one rank the majesty of a mountain? Or the serenity of a babbling brook? Or the communal beauty of a school of fish, swimming as a single unit despite its thousands of individual members with unique hopes and dreams and ambitions? The short answer is: One cannot. The long answer is: Lol, fuck off, this is the internet and anything is possible. That’s why I'm ranking all the fruits.
We’ve looked at more easily rankable stuff in the past here—fast-food French fries, soul food items, the Shake Shack menu—but it’s a different, infinitely more ludicrous ballgame acting as judge and jury for something that predates humans. Mother Earth spit fruits up from the dirt millions of years ago with no intention of being judged, and I respect that.
That said, all rankings, at their core, are just means for us to maximize our enjoyment out of life. We are all constantly ranking stuff in our own minds even if we don’t realize it. If Rocky IV and Rocky II are on TV at the same time, you know to flip to Rocky IV because it’s a better movie and you’ve preloaded that judgment in your mind. The same concept applies when choosing between an apple and an orange at the Holiday Inn Express complimentary breakfast buffet. You absolutely can, and should, compare apples to oranges.
Like all other super important things, ranking fruit is difficult. There are thousands of species of fruit in the world, and since we have other important #journalism to get to, I had to narrow it down. I took a trip to mt local big-chain grocery store—shout out to Ralph’s!—and wrote down all the varieties of fruit they carry, while excluding some exotics in the process. Pluots and kumquats are cool, but they aren’t exactly accessible. I also added in some common fruits that were not available because of seasonality. It would have been a travesty to leave cherries out of a fruit list.
I must also clarify that I'm using the socially accepted definition of fruit, as opposed to the botanical definition. Yeah, I know tomatoes and pumpkins and avocados and zucchini and olives are technically fruits. But, if you ordered a fruit salad and it came with cubes of pumpkin, you’d probably be pissed.
The actual ranking was more intuitive than scientific, but some rules were established. The main judgment of the fruit must be based off its pure, whole form, though common uses of that fruit may be used in the event of a tiebreaker. I also operated under the assumption that you are not some sort of ripeness savant, and that you sometimes may have to deal with under or overripe fruit. Consistency, convenience, flavor, and texture were the main deciding factors.
Enough with the qualifiers and methodology already—here is the only ranking of fruits you should care about.