Fruits of Fancy

Just say no to melons. that's what pope PAUL II might do, if he had a second chance. He learned firsthand about indulging in the pleasures of a certain kind of flesh. On a hot summer afternoon in 1471, His Holiness was reportedly lounging in the Vatican's backyard, enjoying the sun, the fresh air and some refreshing slices of melon. Then he died. The reputed cause: apoplexy, induced by overconsumption of iced Cucumis melo.

Since practically the day human beings first walked the earth, we've had trouble turning down fruit, and by 1800 the Western world was in...

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