A Squishable Feast

Taxonomy is a bitch: Turns out a tomato isn't even a fruit. It’s a berry, a true berry, unlike a strawberry, which isn’t a berry at all but a compound fruit. Why? Because a true berry is made from a single ovary, and a strawberry is not. Nor is a raspberry, by the way. This is all according to botanists. But if you left it up to botanists, berries might not even be delicious. Merriam-Webster's Web site is more coy, going with "a pulpy and usually edible fruit" (there’s your strawberry) or the egg of a fish or lobster (fine). The Berry Bash celebrates the former, going so far as to include the miracle açaí "berry" (notice the quotes; it’s nowhere near being a true berry), which has wonderful medical benefits for everyone except people at the FDA, who refuse to eat them. Your first stop: the berry tasting booth, which looks to have a neat spread of berries, including tayberries, gooseberries, boysenberries, and blackberries (fake, true, fake, and fake, respectively). Afterward, watch executive chef Michael Weller from the California Culinary Academy whip up a little something from the best usually edible fruits on Earth.
Sat., July 25, 10 a.m., 2009

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