Friday, January 31, 2020

Should You Eat an Orange in the Shower? We Tried It

Where do you eat your oranges? At the table? On a picnic? Maybe at your desk at work, or out of a lunch bag somewhere?

Sure, seems reasonable…but what about in the shower?
"Shower | No. 2”  (c) 2011 Glen Bledsoe, CC-BY-SA 2.0

Okay, we know it sounds crazy. But “shower oranges” were a surprisingly popular online fad a little while back. Believe it or not, there is an entire community on Reddit devoted to the joy of eating oranges in the shower. 

It’s really as simple as it sounds, if you’re wondering. Take an ordinary orange, bring it into the shower, peel it up as the hot water rains down on you (let the peels drop to the shower floor below!), and enjoy that new and different eating experience. Are you intrigued? We tried it at our house.

Shower Orange: Two Reviews

Shower Orange Eater #1, my daughter, is a college student. She enjoys oranges, but typically prefers them sliced, and is definitely not a fan of “the white stuff” (pith). She also has long, manicured nails, which is probably why she’s not a big fan of peeling oranges. Still, she was willing to try out the Shower Orange for science. Here’s how it went:

“Ugh! It tastes like shampoo!”
“It got in my eye.”
“I just bit a seed.”
“Eww, it’s touching my feet!”
“I don’t get the hype.”

As a matter of fact, Shower Orange Eater #1 did not even finish her orange in the shower. She preferred to consume it dry and in her PJs. Hmm.

This was not a very positive review for the Shower Orange. Still, I was determined to try it myself. Unlike my daughter, I don’t mind peeling oranges, and am happy to eat them either sliced or sectioned. Here are my thoughts:

“Wow, it’s so fragrant when you peel it in here.”
“I kind of feel like an ape.”
“I think I get it. This way you feel like you can just bite it wherever, like an apple.”
“Okay, this is fun.”
“…But yeah. I don’t want to clean this up.”

The verdict for me: I’d try the Shower Orange again, especially after a workout or a long hike. I think the orange should be cold from the fridge. I also definitely suggest choosing an orange that’s as close to seedless as possible, and one that’s very tender, with no pith or stringy bits. If it has those, you might be tempted to drop them on the shower floor, but then who’s going to clean those up? You, that’s who (unless you have someone available to clean up your shower orange mess!)

Why Did the Shower Orange Catch On? 

What’s the real story behind the shower orange mystique? I read a few articles about this, and there is a little science behind it. The high humidity and heat of the shower “atmosphere” likely increase the aromatic qualities of the oranges, as well as our ability to smell them. After all, most of our sense of taste is really our sense of smell.

Of course, another part of the appeal is the lack of stickiness! With shower oranges, you can feel free to let the juice run all over your hands and wrists, because it’s going to get washed off immediately. This makes for a less fussy, more primal orange-eating experience.

It also seems novel and different, and that’s fun. And hey, it feels kind of “naughty” to drop those peels on the floor. (This is probably more fun if someone else is going to clean them up.)

But is this enough to explain why has over 61,000 followers? (Yes, really.)

To be honest, I’m still not quite sure. You might just have to try the shower orange yourself and find out. 

(Need a recommendation? Florida Fruit Shippers suggests Navel Oranges or Sol Zest Mandarins for your shower orange—Honeybells in season.)

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