The Lure Of Forbidden Fruit

Many of you who read my blog know that a large part of my counselling work is with people learning to manage their weight. I wrote this piece for a newsletter after returning from a trip to Spain earlier this year and I thought it deserved a wider circulation. I hope you enjoy the pictures below and the story that goes with them.

We were in Cordoba and everywhere there were orange trees with fruit on them.

oranges in tree

They looked amazing – a real burst of Spring time colour. While we were visiting the gardens of the Alcazar I just couldn’t resist stealing one to try. It’s like they were shouting at me – I bet that sounds familiar to many of you – and I kept looking for one that was in reach but most were just too high for me to pull off the tree. Besides I wanted to get one without being seen by the people working in the gardens – just like whatever you’ve got in the cupboard that you’ve reserved just for yourself that you don’t want your family to see you taking.

And I had an accomplice – Jason my husband. He was egging me on to do this – you know like some of your friends do when you meet them and you’re supposedly eating healthily but they meet you for a coffee and persuade you to have “something” with it.

In one quick movement I had an orange off the tree and we scuttled away into a corner of the gardens like two naughty children to try it. It was firm and smelled amazing. A real tang of citrus just in the skin as I held it and the smell of summer that seemed so distant to the two of us from a cold and wet wintry Scotland. I broke into it and the juice sprayed out everywhere. Oh the joy of the thief! And I split off a large segment and popped it into my mouth and this is what happened…


My mouth was filled with the taste of orange and almost immediately replaced by a sourness more bitter than any lemon I have ever had that dried up my mouth to a shrivel immediately. There is a good reason that Seville oranges are left on the trees and not eaten by the locals. They have learned from bitter experience that they are good for two things only – marmelade and compost.

And the moral of this story? Stolen food often looks attractive but inevitably leaves a sour taste in the mouth. So if you’re thinking you might want to snaffle something out of the cupboard or fridge or if you’re tempted by a friend to lapse from your healthy eating plan, remember the story of the Seville orange!

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One Response to The Lure Of Forbidden Fruit

  1. Laurie Cappe says:

    lol love the face Mark! Thanks for sharing, it’s too funny and so true.

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