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Edible Arrangements disgust me...anyone else?

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I love fresh fruit. I love fruit on skewers. What I do not love is knowing that on the way to the cute little pineapple, someone's unwashed hand brushed against the wet melon that I might have eaten, were I so inclined. I find the idea of such handled food so nasty that I actually feel queasy when I see one of those edible arrangements at a party. I can't be the only one.

And yes, it is different from other people handling dry things, like chips or canapes, at least in my head. It's the wetness factor that icks me.

  1. I am with you! Creeps me out and they are soooo tacky!

    1. Aesthetic/hygenic concerns aside, they're spectacularly poor value. I feel for anyone dumb enough to sucker for them.

      27 Replies
      1. re: Kagemusha

        Agree. I'm always flabbergasted by the outrageous prices.

        1. re: pine time

          Getting flowers or fruit delivered is not about economy. It's when you care enough to send something that you don't want to be bothered with selecting or preparing - or delivering. You can easily replicate a $50 flower delivery or fruit arrangement for $12 (or less) if you want to go through the trouble of shopping, cutting, arranging and delivery.

          1. re: ferret

            Yeah, and you could make all your family's clothes if you just bought some fabric, needle and thread. I guess most folks "don't want to be bothered."

            1. re: ferret

              It's also the quintessential empty gesture.

              1. re: Kagemusha

                When my wife received a gift of fruit from our son who lives in Shanghai, you try telling her it's an empty gesture.

                1. re: PeterL

                  It isn't an empty gesture, they just think it is.

                  I've never forgotten the boy from India who gave me an entire crate of mangoes. Oh, I ate every one with my heart filled with glee! That must have been twenty years ago.

                  Personally, I don't care for those edible arrangements but that is just my opinion. I'd still be accepting of the gesture if I received one as a gift.

                  Edit: at least twenty-five years ago.

                2. re: Kagemusha

                  Not necessarily, kagemusha. I live in CA. My uncle, who lives in CT, just turned 103. What else is there other than the fruit? He can't eat flowers or a plant. I can't make something and bring it to him. Any suggestions for his 104th?

                  1. re: mucho gordo

                    I think sending one would be a lovely gesture. Sometimes the elderly have a hard time biting into whole fruits and their knife skills may be shaky. It also offers him something to share with any well wishers who may come by. The precut fruit makes a nice presentation and is easy to eat. I have sent them to a family's home in lieu of funeral flowers(when I do not live near enough to bring something personally). When people bring food to a grieving family, it is often casseroles, meats, etc. The fruit has been appreciated, the presention was cheery and it has generally been more popular than a basket of whole fruit. Just my experience.

                3. re: ferret

                  Somehow I can't equate the edible arrangement with the flower arrangement. Send me a flower arrangement, or send me a basket of amazing fruit.

                  Or chocolates. I'll take chocolates too.

                    1. re: ferret

                      It's when you care enough to send something that you don't want to be bothered with selecting or preparing
                      ~~~~~~~~~~

                      Oxymoron statement. If you actually CARED and wanted to be bothered - you'd pick something different. As Kagemusha said - a totally empty gesture. A gorgeously arranged flower arrangement (or even a bunch of wildflowers) means a lot more to me than fruit on a stick.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        That's just personal preference. Our office gets both from clients fairly regularly and the fruit is far better received here.

                        1. re: ferret

                          Yes, that's been my experience when I've seen them delivered, or I never would have thought to send them. I've sent them twice, both to medical offices where I knew a number of folks would be sharing them over a a couple of shifts... places where they'd gone above and beyond normal effort to be of assistance to me. They were very enthusiastically received, as have the baked goods and chocolates, also not homemade, that I've brought in during visits.

                          1. re: ferret

                            I'm guessing offices are probably the number one place to deliver edible arrangements. They're less likely to go to waste than at a party, where there are other competing food choices. And most offices don't have that many options for free healthy food. As unpleasant as those things are to me, they are healthy at least.

                            1. re: ferret

                              I find the fruit to be lacking in flavor. One reason is that the fruit must be firm enough to be cut into the flower shapes and firm enough to hold up to delivery. Bottom line, the fruit lacks flavor.

                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                We've seen in this thread that's not universally true. Must vary by franchisee, because the few I've tasted have been ripe and sweet, and others have said the same.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  Maybe you get better fruit in NY. I can only talk about personal experience with the product

                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                    I think folks from various areas have reported better fruit. I suspect it depends upon the individual franchisee's quality control. I haven't bought arrangements in all of NY, btw, only one small area of Lawn Guyland.

                            2. re: LindaWhit

                              So you're thinking about what you want, not about how intended recipients feel... have you ever been in a place where a delivery has been received? It's really a bit of a spectacle, people are charmed by them. They're not elegant, they're not gourmet, but that's how they're received, in my observation.

                              1. re: mcf

                                I would receive them nicely, as they *are* a gift. They are just not my preference. And anyone who *knows* me would also know that. So anyone who cared about me would also know that if they wanted to cheer me up or whatever the reason, an Edible Arrangement is not the way to go.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  My sister sent my one of their arrangements, in a nice porcelain vase that now holds my dishwashing utensils, and a bunch of chocolate covered strawberries. Perhaps the same franchise as you mcf, because it was delicious. I never thought to complain. A one time deal, but I still have the vase by my kitchen sink to remind me of my sister and her thoughtfulness.

                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                  When you care enough....send me a bottle of vodka!

                                    1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                      When you care enough to send the very best....some fresh Indian River grapefruits and a bottle of Tony's vodka.

                                  1. re: ferret

                                    Kind of tough for my son who lives in Shanghai to do all that and deliver it to his mother in the US.

                              2. I agree that they're tacky. But I think it's the wastefulness of their creation that bothers me most.

                                1. I'm appalled by the poor quality of the fruit and chocolate they use. And the ones I've "experienced" have been extremely unripe. Tasteless. Ugh.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                    +1 to what ChefJune said. I was at an outdoor wedding where instead of flowers, the center pieces were those edible fruit arrangements...it was a while ago and I thought "what a cute idea" and then I had a piece of the fruit... Tasteless is the first thing that came to mind

                                  2. my sister once ordered a veggie tray from them, one of the sections was sliced radish - about a pound of sliced radish - really??? How many people eat radish with dip? It was so odd.

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: pitagirl

                                      ... it's just like salad dressing. and I know folks that eat them with just a dash of salt.

                                      1. re: Chowrin

                                        Utterly off topic, but radishes do in fact make a terrific salt delivery system.

                                      2. re: pitagirl

                                        My wife, for one. Radishes are a snacking item for many.

                                        1. re: ferret

                                          I can eat a LOT of radishes. Enough that my mouth is burning, and I sometimes keep going. And yes, they are great with salt, though I usually go without.

                                          1. re: debbiel

                                            even better, try them with salt and a bit of butter!

                                            1. re: susancinsf

                                              OH yes, I do also love them with salt and butter. And sometimes with salt and butter as a sandwich.

                                        2. re: pitagirl

                                          I love radish with nothing on it, never thought it was uncommon to wash oneself a bowl of radish and munch on them.

                                          1. re: pitagirl

                                            We love them , grow them and enjoy them when they are in season.

                                          2. The first time I ever saw or tasted one was at a food bank I volunteered in, shared by a staffer there who'd received it as a thank you. Folks were really attracted to the flower shapes and the novelty and it drew a crowd quickly. Maybe we got lucky, but the fruit was all sweet and delicious. So I've sent them twice now as thank yous (they are definitely NOT a value purchase) and never order chocolate, just fruit. People really, really like them or say they do. So far, any time I've tried one, the fruit has been good, maybe a variation between individual franchisees and quality control. They're not elegant by any stretch, more of a novelty item, IMO, not gourmet.

                                            1. My son was in the hospital last year and my husband's employer sent one. It was cute and he does like fruit, but it went bad very quickly. We were at a hospital and there was no place to keep it and it just was in flimsy cellophane. It was such a waste, because they are $$.

                                              1. I find Edible Arrangements tasteless and agree with you on the "ick" factor of people touching and handling the food. I was at a party recently and they had the arrangement outside in the 95 degree heat. Just watching the flies landing on the arrangement and then people shooing the flies away and pickup the the skewers.........disgusting.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Sydneyeats

                                                  So you don' t eat in restaurants? Edible arrangements are on wooden skewers and picks, folks take a portion, they don't touch the individual pieces of fruit, in my epxerience. I think any food with flies on it is disgusting, I'm pretty sure that's not unique to Edible arrangements.

                                                2. 2 thoughts:
                                                  1. Julia Child commented that anytime you see something beautifully arranged you know someone's hands have touched absolutely every part of it.
                                                  2. Maybe the person wore gloves? A lot of food prep uses them these days.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: pdxgastro

                                                    The issue, apparently, is not with the prep, it's with the communal selective grabbing of your preferred fruit. So if it's delivered to your office then your coworkers hands will touch other pieces of fruit on the way to picking out theirs. Never think (or worry) about it myself but people have their quirks.

                                                    1. re: ferret

                                                      Yep, it's definitely a quirk.

                                                  2. My experience has been that the fruit tastes very sour and unripe, probably due to the citric acid or whatever they use to keep the fruit from browning. And the fact that they have to be overly handled just to make the shapes does gross me out. Please don't give me one!

                                                    1. I love them! I am a teacher and sometimes a parent will send one into the staff room; it disappears very quickly. The ones I have had have always been very ripe and sweet. Perhaps different franchisees are pickier than other about the produce, and we lucked in with the one near us.

                                                      I do agree with some other posters that they are not fancy. But I would much rather an Edible Arrangement than a box of chocolates.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                        How about a basket with whole seasonal fruit?

                                                        1. re: pdxgastro

                                                          Idea is good, but whole pieces of anything tends not to be eaten. And few fruits are actually seasonal in Nova Scotia during the school year.

                                                          1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                            "And few fruits are actually seasonal in Nova Scotia during the school year." And I think this is my big issue with them (why I would not prefer them.) I don't want a bunch of out of season fruit on a stick. I do eat some out of season fruit, but not a lot of it, or mostly from frozen if I do. This is why I really wonder about the quality of these. But, some folks seem to like them, so different views on it obviously.

                                                            Also, I would absolutely prefer a basket of whole fruit, in or out of season, over cut fruit on a stick. Wouldn't whole fruit last longer?

                                                            1. re: debbiel

                                                              I see your point, but every single Wdible Arrangement I have had has been perfectly ripe, albeit imported, fruit. They tend to be completely eaten within an hour or so. People do sometimes bring in whole fruit, but I've seen it sit on the table pretty much untouched.

                                                              I'm not trying to say these arrangements are gourmet, classy or fancy. I'm just saying they are very popular where I work, more than while fruit.

                                                      2. Whether it be fruit or flowers, I find the arrangement pretty. If people want to spend the money, it is a personal choice. I personally enjoy the detail, and tried replicating it more than once by using the pot and the little sticks that came with one I received from a generous friend and it was not only difficult to do, it turned out nothing like the professional one. Of course the price is what it is, workmanship isn't free. I know lots and lots of people that love them, and nobody ever got sick from eating the fruit that may or may not have been handled by someone in a way you may find appalling as you mention. No worse than fruits at the store that get tossed around by people non stop. Yeah they're not cut at the store, but they get tossed a million times over.

                                                        1. Ugggh! I used to work in a small office (boss, boss's wife, myself and 1 more employee.) Oh and Boss was also my uncle. Boss and Mrs Boss prided themselves at being sophisticated people with good taste in food. Every year around the holidays myself and the other employee used to send Boss and Mrs Boss a gift basket of some sort delivered to their home. One year we couldn't agree. I wanted to send a selection of cheeses and crackers as I've seen them put out cheese plates with drinks when I've visited their home. She wanted to send an edible arrangement because she thought they were cool. A small edible arrangement cost about the same as 2 lbs of cheese (4 different kinds) and crackers shipped. I eventually won out, only to have Mrs Boss very ungraciously thank us for the thought but continue on to say they don't know what they'll do with so much cheese, they don't ever eat the stuff. Of course the coworker threw me under the bus by telling them she wanted to send an edible arrangement but I insisted on the cheese.

                                                          Three days later someone sent the office an edible arrangement. I thought it was terrible. Low quality fruit that went bad extremely quickly and looked tacky as hell. Not to mention the absurd pricing. Mrs Boss was so impressed by it she actually told us 'next time send us something like this, not all taht cheese we can't use' I lost all respect in their credibility as foodies that day.

                                                          There is a happy ending to this story though. They brought the cheese into the office and put it in the communal fridge, where I chipped away at it for the next few weeks. Nobody else touched it. Luckily for me I quit that job before the next years holiday season, so I didn't have to send them an edible arrangement gift. I can NOT bring myself to spend that absurd amount of money on what is about $5 worth of crappy fruit.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: JasFoodie

                                                            JasFoodie - your post cracked me up. It reminded me of those episodes of "Everybody loves Raymond" where his parents were horrified by Ray's "Fruit of the Month CLub" gift.

                                                            "What are we going to do with all this fruit?!?!"

                                                            (I say episodes, because they referred to the horror of that gift in at least two episodes, which made it even funnier.)

                                                            1. re: flourgirl

                                                              Yup. I was thinking about that too. One year one of their customers sent them the same thing, but had it delivered to their home instead of to the office. They came into work complaining about all the fruit. Meanwhile I'm practically drooling over the thought of having that much quality fruit gifted to me.

                                                              Seriously ungrateful people! Of course, I think that they didn't know how much those monthly fruit clubs cost or they would have been more receptive to it. They tended to like things based on what they cost, not the quality of the item.

                                                          2. I'm totally with you. Not sure what solution they use to keep the arrangement "fresh" (and even then, it tends to spoil quickly) but I'd just as soon pass on it entirely. They don't look attractive either. Send me flowers, chocolate, or another food gift basket instead.

                                                            The cost of what it takes to make them just completely belies the cost of how much they charge. Total ripoff (and yes, I'm factoring in shipping, creation time, etc.)

                                                            1. I wouldn't buy one for myself because of the price. All food purchased gets handled, so that really isn't an issue for me.

                                                              The one that I tasted at a party was fresh and the fruit tasted good. The chocolate covered strawberries were great.

                                                              As part of a group sent one as a housewarming gift and they loved it. They were closing on a second property so no kitchenware and no desire to stock with food. So it was an easy way to have a variety of pre sliced fruit to snack on w/out the mess.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: viperlush

                                                                I can't get myself to buy a chocolate covered strawberry. The prices are always ridiculous, especially considering that it is quite affordable and easy to make it at home.

                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                  I agree; the chcolate is never dark enough or good enough quality, IME.

                                                              2. Would never waste money on an edible arrangement. Contrived fruits, overly handled and did I mention a rip off?

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                  That's true of almost any food prepared in a restaurant too, regardless of quality. Leaving out higher end places with great skill required for successful execution, I can make pretty much anything for a lot less. I went out to dinner the other night and had a nice piece of grilled salmon with a delicious salad. It cost $10 and tasted good. I've made better, I've made worse, always for less money for the same amount of salmon and salad. But it was nice to have it done for me.

                                                                  There's also the issue that many people seem to have (not me though) with eating food prepared in the kitchen of someone they do not know.

                                                                  Just a few thoughts.

                                                                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                    By overly-handled, I'm not referring to germs, but turning a cantelope into a flower is too contrived and precious for me.
                                                                    Having aquired cooking skills has made me aware of just how much I can do myself for much cheaper. I do however enjoy having things prepared for me and am happy to pay for it. Just some things irk me as being terrible value, like the chocolate covered strawberries I mentioned above. I've seen them for $5 a berry, which is shear robbery.

                                                                2. 1. I assume that the arrangements were made by people wearing gloves.

                                                                  2. While not a huge fan of the actual fruit, I find Edible Arrangements to be a very nice option for someone with allergies (like myself). I was out of work for a month a year ago and knowing that I'm allergic to flowers, they sent me an Edible Arrangement. I was touched. The only part of it I wasn't crazy about were the chocolate strawberries.

                                                                  1. Using the term "disgust" in the title seems overly contemptuous.

                                                                    I would never buy an edible arrangement (too much $) but my sister did. At first I was like "what was this" ?

                                                                    Then I tasted it...found most ( not all) of the fruit tasty..even the chocolate covered ones. The arrangement was very popular with my and wife's family..most of which are not foodie types.

                                                                    I think some liked the "healthy" aspect of it and sheer novelty. Sure there were a few bad pieces..but overall thought it was a hit. The young children (my small son and brother in laws young daughter) particulary enjoyed the whole deal of it.

                                                                    Certainly not "disgusting" by any means.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: rochfood

                                                                      Why is it contemptuous to be disgusted by something? Surely there are foods you find disgusting. There is quite a difference between being disgusted by a food and being disgusted by those who enjoy it.

                                                                      Enjoy your EA without contempt from me.

                                                                      1. re: Isolda

                                                                        I thought you were disgusted by the folks whose hands you thought were touching the fruit. I think the hateraid the topic unleashed was really revealing about attitudes toward others more than it was about food. But if EAs disgust you and you want to discuss it, I guess that's a legitimate word for your topic header.

                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                          Don't know about the rest of the country but in NY, I am pretty sure no bare hands are touching your fruit.

                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                            The OP refers to the hands of other folks sharing and eating the arrangement, that's what the reference was to. I'm sure the prep folks wear gloves as is the industry standard and health regulation, if I'm not mistaken.

                                                                    2. I see here that many peoples' experiences with the quality of the fruit in the basket varies greatly.
                                                                      The OP's biggest problem is that she can't get past the idea that someone may have touched the piece of fruit that she hypothetically is about to pick up and eat...

                                                                      I've been to parties where I've seen people (poorly mannered people) pick up multiple pieces of cheese on a platter with bare hands, then put one or two of the pieces back on the plate. Parties with kids... forget about it, grubby hands picking up brocooli from a veg tray, sniffing, inspecting and then rejecting right back to the plate... and dont' get me started on double dipping!
                                                                      the OP's got a point about people's handling of these arrangements in social gatherings, that's what skeeves her out, I'm guessing not the pineapples cut into daisey's or strawberries with a little marshmallow in the middle themselves...

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: cgarner

                                                                        Yes, you get it! That is what I meant. Where all the other stuff comes from, I can't imagine.

                                                                        1. re: Isolda

                                                                          But you didn't post about cheese, veggies, crudite, and other foods handled by others at gatherings.

                                                                      2. I have to agree that the vitriol on this post seems out of proportion. We had just experienced a sudden, horrific event and a friend from far away sent one of these. I don't remember if the fruit was perfect, but I will tell you that I remember her kindness to this day. The only empty gesture is one that's not made. On top of it, the last thing I wanted to do in those dark days was eat anything, and to snack on a bit of fruit, regardless of the "preciousness" of it, was helpful. And trust me, the last thing I was thinking about was how much it was handled.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: imsohungry

                                                                          The OP's original point of squeamishness at eating food that invites handling by others got lost in discussions of "economy" and "I can do this at home." While I'm sure that the occasional purchaser gets one of these for their own home, the majority are sent to others as "thank-yous" or thoughtful gifts. My wife is generally opposed to sending flowers and prefers to order baked goods or these Edible Arrangements when she wants to send a thank-you. I know these are appreciated by the majority of recipients. We recently had one delivered to neighbors who did us a small favor. They have small children who loved it and they appreciated the thought for that alone. If the business didn't serve a need it would disappear quickly. While many here may turn their noses up the idea, I'm happy they're around.

                                                                          1. I have a soft spot in my heart for them as my 80 year old grandmother (who has since passed away) ordered one and had it delivered during our family Easter celebration as a surprise. She was so excited about it and just marveled at all the work that went into creating it. It's a fond memory and every time I drive by a store or see an ad I still can't help but smile.

                                                                            The fruit was delicious and it was nice to have something that wasn't a dip or horribly unhealthy to munch on throughout the day. And I don't have the same squeamishness the OP has - in my experience, you just pick the fruit up by the skewer and don't stick your hand in the middle of the basket.

                                                                            In this case, it was priceless rather than pricey and not the least bit tacky, thoughtless or lazy.

                                                                            1. Just send chocolates(yummy!!)..who wants to receive fruits as gift anyway...i don't. lol

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Monica

                                                                                Some people would bitch if they got a gift basket filled with hundred dollar bills stuck on skewers.
                                                                                The times I have tried fruit from Edible Arrangements it didn't taste very ripe. In the end it's the thought that counts.

                                                                                1. re: Samalicious

                                                                                  "Some people would bitch if they got a gift basket filled with hundred dollar bills stuck on skewers"

                                                                                  LOL! Now that is too true.

                                                                                  1. re: Samalicious

                                                                                    I’m a little surprised at the amount of hate for these. We get them in the office once in a while – it’s been a while but I remember one time there was a jar of chocolate dip something and I went back to the kitchen a few times for a spoonful of that.

                                                                                    There was a local company that just deliver all chocolate dipped covered fresh fruits on a big tray. Mmm, now THAT is a tasty treat!

                                                                                    1. re: Samalicious

                                                                                      I get one of these every year at the office on my birthday. They know I try to eat healthy and don't eat cake, so they send an EA instead. The quality of the fruit varies, but when I first tried it, I was surprised that it was better than I expected for this type of thing. I smile when I get it, take a bite of fruit, tell everyone thank you and how delicious the fruit is and put it out for others to enjoy. Never thought twice about the handling of the fruit by others. If I were concerned about that all the time, I'd never eat out. I probably wouldn't eat at all.

                                                                                  2. Agree 100%. Would never buy or eat one of these things.

                                                                                    1. Those of you who are less than thrilled with this enterprise might enjoy this from the Onion. Actually, even those who like this fruit may enjoy this.
                                                                                      http://www.theonion.com/articles/cont...

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: karenfinan

                                                                                          "And when people are buying 3,000 'Orange You Gonna Feel Better Soon?' bouquets a day, the idea of consumers as 'rational actors' goes out the window pretty fast."

                                                                                          ---------------------
                                                                                          It's effing fantastic.

                                                                                        2. This fits into the "I'm over privilaged, so I will complain about anything" catagory. Who cares? the people who make them wash thier hands. The people who send them are trying to express thanks/remorse/sympathy. The people who recive then should stop looking that horse in the mouth and be thankful they live in a society where something like this is possiable.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: ike04

                                                                                            I think most adults get that the intention is kind, and presumably, would send a gracious note of thanks. I am assuming you'd do the same.

                                                                                            But I do agree with you that overprivileged societies have different problems from those where food is inadequate. Certain kinds of obesity, anorexia and other eating disorders, probably even extreme pickiness don't exist in places where people don't have enough to eat.

                                                                                          2. Add me to the "like" column.

                                                                                            No, they aren't as good as if I made one from scratch (but looks better), and the are a bit pricey. But if I made one and packed up and shipped from Syracuse to my in laws in PA it would take a couple days to get there, and probably would be spoiled by the time it got there, and probably wouldn't be appreciated.

                                                                                            When we order an arrangement from EA it is delivered fresh to their door the same day where it is warmly received, and we get a call later that evening telling us how much they enjoyed receiving it.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                I'm not sure how making one from scratch would resolve the hygiene issue (really, that was the only issue in my OP), but I am totally impressed that you would consider doing so. I'm pretty lazy in the kitchen and that would test my patience to its limit.

                                                                                                1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                  I "get" your original question (and think you are VERY like my husband in this way :) ), even if I have no such concerns. I have been wondering though if you have the same concern with a fruit tray where the items are not on skewers or if it is just a quirk of the EA?

                                                                                              2. When I was in the research department of a university, one was delivered that was pretty sizeable, and it was actually very nice. I don't think I've ever eaten that much fruit in one sitting as I did that day, it was all very ripe and fresh and clean. We were pretty fastidious about how we plucked each piece, as food handling was one of the projects in the office at the time. : )

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                                                  Now if that had been my only experience with them, I might feel differently! Unfortunately, they've been brought to church (used, from someone's party) on a couple of occasions, sent to the office where I used to work, in which a notorious non-hand washer pawed over them, and at various parties where children were not being given proper guidance and handled, then rejected numerous pieces.

                                                                                                  The idea of them is nice and people who ate them raved about the quality, but after seeing what I've seen, they just aren't for me.

                                                                                                  1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                    So maybe your issue isn't with the EAs, but with your ECs, eating companions?

                                                                                                2. Don't get it. Another lame product that actually sells.

                                                                                                  1. I too do not understand the vitriolic criticism of the Edible Arrangements fruit bouquets.

                                                                                                    Just for fun, does anyone have an opinion of gift bouquets of cookies on sticks instead of fresh fruit on sticks?

                                                                                                    http://www.cookiesbydesign.com/

                                                                                                    20 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                      I'd rather have Edible Arrangements, these cookies look like they would have less taste than out of season fruit! I'm imagining sugar and dye flavor predominating.

                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                        I haven't had one of those, but my mother has made sugar cookie "lolipops" for years. Hers aren't as fancy, but they are yummy and are always a hit with every age.

                                                                                                        1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                          If they're made from scratch, they're probably a lot better than the kind you get online. And if they're not fancy, she probably uses a lot less of the decorating icing, which can render a lot of things way too sweet. Sometimes you really do have to choose between food and art, at least when it comes to sweets.

                                                                                                            1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                              These cookie arrangements are somehow connected with Disney, so not going to be homemade quality I don't think.

                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                You saw a Disney cookie arrangement on their website. That is just one of likely dozens of various cookie arrangements available. Do you realize how many products Disney licenses their characters to? Neither do I but it must be in the thousands. Cookies by Design is a franchise business, just like Edible Arrangements. Neither has an ownership/production connection to Disney.

                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                  Thanks I never would have guessed from their website.

                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                            At least EA has stuff that is generally good to eat. The cookies bouquets would be good only if they were made with ingredients you'd find in your own kitchen (not chemicals.) Agree with coll about the dyes. Even Whole Foods has sold some nasty cookies made with all-natural dyes, because in order to get those colors, you need a lot of dye.

                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                              The cookie bouquets I've received are *adorable* to look at. But...(you knew that was coming, right?)

                                                                                                              The cookies are about an inch thick to withstand the movement, are made of the most flavorless sugar-cookie dough imaginable, and the icing tastes like wallpaper paste.

                                                                                                              But because I am an adult, I wrote a gracious thank you note expressing my appreciation to the sender and put it in the mailbox on my way to the garbage can with the cookies.

                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                i don't get any of it (the EA's or the cookies), but at least the cookies people know are full of nasty chemicals that are really bad for you, but they enjoy it so they buy it. I loathe the market that preys on the people who think they are making a healthier choice so they voluntarily overpay for an arrangement. I mean- why not grab some whole fruit (much better fruit) at the store and make a fruit basket? And if that's not convenient enough, how about paying someone to do that for us and deliver it too? There's another thread on Chow re: "Slimcados" ( just a Florida avocado marketed to people who are trying to be/stay "slim"). I see these two threads as similar in the sense that consumers just love to buy up marketing gimmicks. But hey, they CHOOSE to do it. No one's holding a gun to their heads.

                                                                                                                1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                  Many times it isn't convenient to make your own fruit basket for a gift. I do agree with you that a traditional fruit basket would last longer. Or, if someone was set on spending a lot of $ a Garry & David fruit gift is great fruit and high class. I disagree with you on the cookies however. Why would they contain anymore chemicals than the cookies made at home? They are made by each franchisee. I'm sure they use a recipe for firm cookies with a lot of icing but that doesn't make them much worse than any other cookie.

                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                    Except for some of the fresh fruit (pears), the rest of (H)arry and David's food is really very junky, IMO. It's just a matter of preference, but I really don't think there are class distinctions to be made here, just preferences.

                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                      FYI Harry & David Holdings is in the midst of bankruptcy

                                                                                                                    2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                      But they do contain chemicals, whether they (the cookies) are worse or better than the ones anyone would make at home. And wholesome cookies can be made at home or purchased btw. Your response suggests that it's an impossibility. I never stated that "a traditional fruit basket would last longer". I do however feel that the quality of fruit you can purchase yourself and then package yourself in a basket would be of higher quality, more affordable, and most importantly actually taste good. Also, I realize that THAT is just not convenient enough for some so when it isn't and you want to give such a gift, there will be a price to pay for that. Why not buy that person or those people who are clearly so special a nice fruit gift? Not one that just looks "cute" but one that is actually GOOD. Is it because they're really not that special? Are we just trying to meet some sort of obligation then cross it off the 'to do' list? I know it's a matter of opinion and I certainly don't expect anyone to think like me, but if you're going to give someone a bland, overpriced EA, why bother giving them anything? It's like the scented candle that is regifted to me because someone feels they must give me a present. You don't owe me anything, especially that stupid candle ;)

                                                                                                                      1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                        Disagree if your assumption is that a fruit basket has to be mediocre. The whole point of sending such a gift is because one cannot deliver it themselves. The same with flowers. Do you think it would be better to buy fresh cut flowers, a vase and deliver it yourself? Usually these things are ordered and delivered from a distance, such as dozens, hundreds, or thousands of miles.

                                                                                                                        What chemicals is it you speak of? Baking soda? Baking powder?

                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                          “Disagree if your assumption is that a fruit basket has to be mediocre.”
                                                                                                                          Where did I “assume” that? In fact I believe the opposite; a fruit basket (with better quality/variety) is better than a mediocre EA.

                                                                                                                          “Usually these things are ordered and delivered from a distance…”
                                                                                                                          I realize that. You mentioned “if someone was set on spending a lot of $ a Garry & David fruit gift is great fruit and high class”. I have never heard of Garry & David so I’ll take your word for it. Clearly you think highly of their product so why not send that special someone a “great”, “high class” gift instead of settling for a mediocre EA?

                                                                                                                          "The whole point of sending such a gift is because one cannot deliver it themselves."
                                                                                                                          Is an EA the only gift that can be “delivered from a distance, such as dozens, hundreds, or thousands of miles"?

                                                                                                                          "Do you think it would be better to buy fresh cut flowers, a vase and deliver it yourself?"
                                                                                                                          That is a new thread John. I happen to prefer live plants, but that discussion will take us even further away from the OP’s question.
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          "What chemicals is it you speak of? Baking soda? Baking powder?"
                                                                                                                          I am not able to link/copy the nutritional information of any Cookies by Design product since they go to great lengths to keep it a secret for reasons that can’t be good for the consumer, but I digress. Typically, these decorative corporate cookies contain similar ingredients, such as… Margarine (which typically is -Palm Oil, Soybean Oil, Water, Salt, Mono & Diglycerides, Lecithin, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Vitamin A Palmitate, Beta Carotene, Whey), Fructose, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Mono & Diglycerides, Food Starch, Lecithin, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Xanthan Gum. This of course depends on the type of cookie. If they are decorated, then typically unnatural dyes are used (as posters upthread mentioned). I copied a link to Mrs. Fields as an example of typical unwholesome ingredients, but I happen to like cookies whether processed or wholesome and I respect products like Mrs. Fields that don’t hide their product ingredients (ate them a lot at malls as a child). I bet that if Cookies by Design’s ingredients were wholesome they probably wouldn’t hide that. They can totally list ingredients without giving away the secret recipe if they wanted to. If I’m wrong, please post a link to C by D nutritional information.
                                                                                                                          http://www.mrsfields.com/misc/nutrition/

                                                                                                                        2. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                          "I know it's a matter of opinion and I certainly don't expect anyone to think like me, but if you're going to give someone a bland, overpriced EA, why bother giving them anything?"
                                                                                                                          Crowmuncher, upthread there is a post refrencing a 103 year old man who was gifted with an EA from a nephew who lived across the country. Another poster noted that often the elderly have trouble with whole fruit, for a variety of reasons. I think this qualifies as a great reason to send an EA. It is nothing like "crossing it off the 'to do' list. It is a thoughtful, sweet gesture bespeaking kindness.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Sherri

                                                                                                                            Sherri, you responded to my response to John so you would have to read our posts to each other to see why I was responding that way to him.

                                                                                                                            Did the poster who wrote, “He can't eat flowers or a plant” have to buy his uncle an EA? There are plenty of thoughtful, sweet gestures bespeaking kindness available. We just have to think out of the box a bit, unless of course you and the would-be recipient think EAs are delicious. If that's the case, then I agree you will be actually "giving a gift" and not just meeting obligations to cross off your to do list when you send an EA.

                                                                                                                            “the elderly have trouble with whole fruit”
                                                                                                                            the OP states “Edible Arrangements disgust me…anyone else?” I obviously side with OP. I would have trouble with...giving the elderly in my family food that I find disgusting just because they “have trouble with whole fruit”, regardless of where they live.

                                                                                                                            1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                              I'm open for suggestions, crowmuncher. What can I send to my uncle for his 104th?

                                                                                                                              1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                I can list many, but I think you know what is best for your uncle mucho ;)

                                                                                                                  2. If you don't like EA, walk past them wherever they're offered (without making comments to either the host/ess, the sender, or those who *are* eating it, thanks), and put any you receive in the break room where *someone* will eat it (again, without comments, please). But make sure you write a gracious thank-you to the sender expressing your appreciation for the kindness of the gesture...because you're an adult who's been taught manners.

                                                                                                                    If you don't like EA, don't send them. If enough people agree, they'll go out of business as there won't be a market for them.

                                                                                                                    If you DO like EA, order and eat to your heart's content -- if enough people agree with *you*, they'll grow and succeed, and you'll be munching snacks that *aren't* flavorless cookies or wilting flowers that make you sneeze.

                                                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                      This I completely agree with.

                                                                                                                      I wouldn't order one (unless the person I was ordering it for had a thing for EA) nor would I ask for one, but I wouldn't take offense if someone got me one for some occasion.

                                                                                                                      There are many many things, culinary and non-culinary, that are more worthy of disgust IMHO.

                                                                                                                      1. re: josquared

                                                                                                                        But isn't disgust personal by definition? I have one particular favorite junk food concoction that I rarely mention to anyone because I know it would disgust people, and really, they don't need to know.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                          I truly do not comprehend, however, the urge to shout one's disgust from the center of the public square, AND to castigate any and all who might be of a differing point of view.

                                                                                                                          If you don't like it, fine...ignore it, and don't ruin it for those who DO like it. (I believe this is a corollary of Don't yuck someone else's yum, the Golden Rule of Chowhound.) You don't have to like it -- but they're not stupid or crazy if THEY like it!

                                                                                                                          (I kind of figure that disgust would be better reserved for something considerably more offensive than someone's fingerprints on a pineapple chunk, but maybe somebody else has had a far more sheltered life than me and that's the most disgusting thing they've ever run across. Lucky them.)

                                                                                                                          Do know that I'm responding to you in the framework of the conversation, and "you" is a general you, not "Isolda" you.

                                                                                                                          But this one *is* to you...if you won't name your dirty little treat because others "don't need to know" and might be repulsed, why do we therefore need to know that YOU are disgusted by something? Nobody offered to send you an EA, nor even asked if you wanted a skewer from theirs...why such vehemence?

                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                            I really don't understand what appears to be anger directed at Isolda over and over in this thread (many of those posts now removed). She doesn't like EAs. In fact, she is disgusted by them. Has she castigated those who have a different point of view? Not that I recall reading. She asked in her OP if she was the only one disgusted by it.

                                                                                                                            I'm disgusted by lots of things. Some trivial, some not. It's more a gut reaction than a thoughtful one for me. Why folks would get so bent out of shape because one of Isolda's trivial disgusts is EA is beyond me.

                                                                                                                            She posted it here because it was a food related issue. If you browse through boards on chowhound, you'll note that not every post is about a matter of great substance and many are about people's personal opinions and even food-related quirks.

                                                                                                                            I see more vehemence directed at the OP than emanating from her.

                                                                                                                            And Isolda, sorry if I got your gender wrong on this.

                                                                                                                            1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                              you missed the sentence that said that the first part of my response was a general 'you' and not directed *at* Isolda, only in response to her.

                                                                                                                              The only question I asked was why we didn't need to know her dirty little secret because we'd be disgusted, but yet we needed to know that she is disgusted by EA -- just an interesting dichotomy, that's all.

                                                                                                                              1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                I don't think anger has been directed at Isolda, just puzzlement and questioning about logical inconsistency and wonderment that one particular product sharing attributes with many others that don't creep her out deserved a thread about its presumed offensiveness.

                                                                                                                                I think the most vehement/angry posts in this thread have been directed toward Edible Arrangements for all sorts of stated reasons, actually.

                                                                                                                                1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                  Thank you! No, you got my gender correct.

                                                                                                                                2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                  I have never castigated anyone with a different POV. Please reread my posts. I'd be especially interested in reading any posts where I have called anyone stupid or crazy for any reason on this or another thread. It's fine to disagree, but please don't lie about what I've actually written.

                                                                                                                                  And my vehemence is directed more at the angry, self-righteous tone of some of the posts to me than towards EA. Again, please read what I actually said. No one likes to be hounded, harrassed and repeatedly attacked, but being truthfully represented is more important to me, which is why I've stuck around on this thread. I don't mind people disagreeing with my POV--that's to be expected on a food website--but I do mind people attacking my character. And accusing me of castigating others for their like of a particular food when I've done no such thing is indeed an attack on my character.

                                                                                                                                  My mention of the junk food was only an example of how disgust is personal. I doubt anyone else eats it, so it's not relevant to others. However, many people don't like EA. Really, this is only one of many posts on Chowhound about products people like or dislike. While I am very surprised at some of the angry and yes, personal comments directed at me simply because I don't like a food some others like, what has surprised me more is that so many *don't" like EA, albeit not for the same reasons.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                    what was there about

                                                                                                                                    "Do know that I'm responding to you in the framework of the conversation, and "you" is a general you, not "Isolda" you."

                                                                                                                                    that nobody's grasping? (you AND the other poster who question my response)

                                                                                                                                    that means "I'm not accusing you of castigating anyone, but there are those who HAVE..but since I'm replying to you, it's there, even if it's not actually referring to you in particular"

                                                                                                                                    I just think it's weird that you won't talk about your junk food because "we don't need to know", but you obviously think we need to know about your feelings about EA..AND feel the need to defend it! I don't care about either of them, really.

                                                                                                                                    (all-caps are not shouting in this particular instance, but since there are no capabilities on this board to indicate emphasis with boldface or with italics, I'm limited to *twinklies* or CAPS. I intended more emphasis than the stupid asterisks...which leaves nothing but upper-case.)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                      SIgh. I posted my OP because I wondered if others shared my POV (and apparently, they do) not because I thought people needed to know what disgusted me. People post stuff like this all the time.

                                                                                                                                      "I truly do not comprehend, however, the urge to shout one's disgust from the center of the public square, AND to castigate any and all who might be of a differing point of view. " was what you wrote. It was natural to assume it was directed at me.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                        but then you quit reading.

                                                                                                                                        What really kills me is I even went back and put in the part about this not being directed at Isolda-you because I was afraid you'd read as being directed at Isolda-you rather than the thread as a whole.

                                                                                                                                        And I *still* had to point it out.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                          Nope, I read the whole thing, including the little part at the top right that says "re: Isolda." If you really want to reprimand others, direct your posts at their individual comments, don't just wrap all your anger in one big post to one single person.

                                                                                                                                          I am sorry if I misunderstood you and didn't give you credit for the disclaimers you made. I do get where you're coming from because I feel the same way about a couple of posts on this thread.

                                                                                                                                          But honestly, I think I'm done with this thread. It's getting tedious, and I assume that most of us have cooking and eating to do, not to mention lives outside of chowhound.

                                                                                                                          2. I find these things to be really, really bad. The fruit is treated so it won't discolor, and there's an off taste. They look . . . used. Shopworn.

                                                                                                                            1. Wow this is an awesome thread. I've actually reported it to the Authorities, but it stays alive. But now that I think about it, this thread is amazing because it demonstrates the incredible emotional power of even the most seemingly innocuous foods. What, pray tell, could possibly be more innocent, more benign, more utterly non-threatening than a gift of fruit cut into cute shapes and assembled to look like a floral arrangement? The reaction to the question and, even more so to the replies, shows that there is much more here than meets the eye. That a gift of food - no matter what kind - should ignite such conflict! Don't you think that's incredible? That the very same item should provoke such a range of response - love to hate - is truly remarakble. How much we invest in these symbols!

                                                                                                                              I started reading the posts because I've recently been close to a family grieving for a loss. Of course many of these edible arrangements showed up at the house. I, personally, didn't find the fruit appealing - but then again the arrangement had been sitting on a table for hours at warm room temperature. So it was slimy and rubbery and there were many other things to eat that were more interesting. But then I became fascinated with this conversation. Let's all take a few steps back and give everyone the benefit of the doubt: edible arrangements are sent out of the goodness of someone's heart, not out of laziness, not out of sheer obligation. Sometimes they're appreciated, sometimes they're not. Either way, the sentiment was appropriate and well meaning. Now can we please stop beating each other up - it's ridiculous.

                                                                                                                              But fun to read. In a sick and demented sort of way.

                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Nyleve

                                                                                                                                I'm surprised that this stays up after being reported.

                                                                                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                  Are you kidding? They're probably going to turn it into an "article," like that "worst cooks" Mean Girl mess.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                    That was a bad one, for sure.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Nyleve

                                                                                                                                  It's a matter of principle Nyleve; some of us won't buy EAs just based on principle. Glad you are enjoying yourself ;)

                                                                                                                                3. Folks, this thread seems to have run its course and is now basically a discussion of who is being more mean to who in the thread itself. We're going to lock it now.