Food: Vegetable: Shape
CubiCumbers   (+2)  [vote for, against]
Square cross-section cucumbers

I have found some difficulty recently while slicing irregularly-shaped cucumbers for her Ladyship's afternoon sandwiches. The curve in the cucumber means that the slices become erratic in thickness, not to mention the cylindrical shape wanting to roll across the cutting board while being sliced. And differing diameter cucumbers produce unpleasant divergences from her Ladyship's preferred 1.473" cucumber slice size.

Then the solution struck me. Of course, the cucumber should be encouraged to grow straight, uniform, and square in section as well, thus obviating all objections caused by food use of the normal kind above.

A reasonably rigid square-section transparent plastic box, open at both ends, with internal dimensions of 1.473" x 1.473" and 16" in length, is slipped over the incipient cucumber when it is yet tiny. As the CubiCumber grows, it fills out the internal space in the box, growing nicely into the corners, and therefore becoming cuboid. Thus constrained athwartships, it can only now expand longitudinally. A small microswitch at each end of the box is tripped when the cucumber tips expand past the box's confines, illuminating a red "pick me" OLED on the box, which is of course solar powered.

The grower, thus alerted to the availability of a perfectly-formed product, plucks said cuke from the vine, and without removing its box, places it reverently into the collection basket. This has the added benefit of preserving the delicate flesh of the cubicumber from damage from its basketmates.

The box is of course biodegradable. Alternatively it can be returned to the grower for reuse, with a suitable credit.

To add to the attractiveness of this scheme for major grocery chains, an engraved logo or word can be moulded into each side of the box, producing a pleasingly embossed phrase on each face of the fruit. "Enjoy your DangerousWay CubiCumber" perhaps.

And what follows? CubiZucchini? CubiSquash? CubiPumpkin? The imagination reels.
-- phlogiston, Nov 15 2003

Square tomatoes and watermelons
[krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Bonsai Kitten
For some reason this sprang to mind. I apologise in advance. [benjamin, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

straight bananas http://www.telegrap...02/06/29/do2902.xml
[po, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

This has been baked in Japan and elsewhere for tomatoes and watermelon at least. See link.
-- krelnik, Nov 15 2003

No, baloney's round. Mac'n'cheese loaf, mock chicken loaf, pimento loaf, those ones are square. But [krelnick]'s link shows the process to be baked, except the OLED part perhaps.
-- lintkeeper2, Nov 15 2003

Maybe a mandolin slicer and a 1.473" square cookie cutter will suffice until you work out the details?

Would the dimensions be an accurate ripeness indicator? Size isn't everything, you know.
-- half, Nov 15 2003

That's one way to fit a round peg in a square hole.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 16 2003

//Would the dimensions be an accurate ripeness indicator? Size isn't everything, you know.//

-- lintkeeper2, Nov 16 2003

Nah, but they're implants.
-- DrCurry, Nov 17 2003

[benjamin]'s nauseating bonsai kitten is enough to make me abandon the whole scheme. Interesting to see that those inveterate innovators over in the land of the rising debt have baked this, at least partially. However, I think the idea of yet another surface to be plastered with advertising messages is enough to get this done. Bog help us all.

Being my first idea here, I thank all you gentlebeings for your assorted commentarial illuminations.
-- phlogiston, Nov 19 2003

I somehow the part about embossing the brand on the product the first time around. I give it a + for that little detail.

Does direct sunshine affect the color of a ripening fruit or gourd or vegetable? (I'm thinking of the light spot that appears on the bottom of a watermelon.) If so, then blocking or intensifying the sun selectively might further enhance the appearance of the logo.

I can also see the trademark/patent/whatever of specific shapes being owned by certain brands.
-- half, Nov 19 2003

[Half] - I have visions of teams of lawyers studying a designer leek, arguing about whether, from certain angles, it resembles a Nike Swoosh or a Coca-Cola Dynamic Ribbon Device...
-- benjamin, Nov 20 2003

Just as long as the flavor isn't lost. So many selections in a supermarket's produce section have been altered for appearance's sake, while completely losing palatability.
-- thumbwax, Nov 20 2003

Word, [UB]. McApples. Give me a Russet or a Spartan anyday. Golden Delicious? You can keep'em.
-- squeak, Nov 20 2003

Uncool Cucumbers

Encumbered cucumbers unite
Don't yield square fruits without a fight
Phlogist' appears pleased
With his right angled squeeze
But I like round sarnies to bite.

"I'll have uniform thickness", he swore
"Wonky slices are what I abhore
I prefer salad wedges
With parallel edges
Which ease my preparatory chore."

This oppression must not be allowed
(And it's uncool to follow the crowd)
So stand up and declare
It's not hip to be square
Say it loud, I'm round and I'm proud.

-- squeak, Nov 20 2003

[po]'s link about the EU directives on harmonised curvature of fruit and veg is further proof that Brussels is indeed bananas. As if we needed proof anyway.

And the splendidly lyrical [squeak] will go into history as the instigator of the dreaded 2004 war between CylindriCumber and CubiCumber adherents. Funny how it all repeats: shades of war to the finish between big-enders and little-enders.
-- phlogiston, Nov 20 2003

Oh the EU foods people eh? Does anyone listen to them. They say all kinds of rubbish. My favourite recently is that noone in the EU is allowed to make cheese from unpasteurised milk. Because it's dangerous. Uh huh. Like everyone's not been making and eating it since cheese began. Stupid bastards. As if the French give a rat's ass what a coupla penpushers in Brussels think.
-- squeak, Nov 21 2003

I knew about the japanese square watermelons - they do love their packaging efficiencies - but I've seen gourd and squash, um, squashers that force such cucurbits to take the shape of the mold as they grow. Fully baked, maybe a bit overdone.
-- elhigh, Jun 03 2005

random, halfbakery