On World Fruit Day, Dole published an open letter to Pope Francis in the only newspaper that he has stated he reads, La Repubblica. With lovely humour, which I’m sure Francis will appreciate, they seek the forgiving of the bad-press fruit in the Genesis story. You can read the full letter here.
The letter alludes to the development of the concept that the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve ate was an apple:
As you are of course aware, the apple in particular has been subject to centuries of terrible slander, despite never being mentioned by name, in the Old Testament. Rather, the classical Greek word for ‘tree fruit’ sounded conveniently like the Latin for ‘apple’, which in turn, sounded suspiciously like the Latin for ‘evil’. In other words, the reputation of the apple has fallen victim to a cheap pun, which spread like wildfire through the creative consciousness, from John Milton’s Paradise Lost to Albrecht Dürer’s Adam and Eve.
How the forbidden fruit came to be seen as an apple is explained well in this article off this site.
In checking what others had come up with as an image for the forbidden fruit, I received answers of: pomegranate, fig, and grapes.
Oh – and for readers here who think that there literally was a forbidden fruit about 6,000 years ago that, having been consumed by a historical Adam and Eve (who are the ancestors of all humans), after having been urged on by a talking snake, and that, in doing so, they unleashed all evil in the universe as well as originating death… or who think that I think this… do read my Evolution – the elephant in the empty nave and other things I have written on this.