The fruit in question is a somche, a sort of hybrid between a fruiting fungal growth encased in the thick rind of a somsin fruit.
The spores have a mild, sweet, peppery flavour, and are used in seasoning. The fungus-impregnated flesh is moist and meaty. Cooked properly, wrapped in somsin leaves to prevent the expulsion of spores, the mature somche is said to be among the most healthy and invigorating foodstuffs available.
It is unique in fungus-impregnated simple fruits for having been officially declared, by a host of culinary experts, botanists, and epicurean scientists across the known territories, as “objectively delicious.”
It is high in potassium, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and tryptophan. Because of its pleasant flavour and nutritional value, it is considered a Good Food. For those same reasons, five years from the time of writing, somche will be the subject of an immense foodie trend, which will lead to increased demand, an absurd leap in price that will make it difficult to obtain by its own growers, and the release of many statements by agriculturists and food scientists alike that could be generalized to read,
“”Honestly. You people. It’s a fungus-impregnated simple fruit, not a miracle cure-all. Leave some for the natives and get more exercise. You want a revolutionary nutritional law to live by? Everything in moderation.”
If Neil knew this, he would feel somewhat superior for passing it up. Given what we now know of the somche’s virtues, however, we can see that Neil’s ill-informed decision cost him a delicious meal that would have been a perfect pick-me-up after a rough week.