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"Science fiction operates a little bit like science itself, in principle. You've got thousands of people exploring ideas, putting forth their own hypotheses. Most of them are dead wrong; a few stand the test of time; everything looks kind of quaint in hind"
- Peter Watts

Dainties  
  Flavor spheres artificially grown.  

Flavor spheres artificially grown.

She said, "Here! Come here!"
"What is that?" asked Seldon. They were standing before a small tray filled with little spheres, each about two centimeters in diameter. A Brother who was tending the area and who had just placed the tray where it was looked up in mild inquiry. Raindrop Forty-Three said to Seldon in a low voice, "Ask for a few." Seldon realized she could not speak to a Brother until spoken to and said uncertainly, "May we have a few, B-brother?"
"Have a handful, Brother," said the other heartily. Seldon plucked out one of the spheres and was on the point of handing it to Raindrop Forty-Three when he noticed that she had accepted the invitation as applying to herself and reached in for two handfuls. The sphere felt glossy, smooth.
Seldon said to Raindrop Forty-Three as they moved away from the vat and from the Brother who was in attendance, "Are these supposed to be eaten?" He lifted the sphere cautiously to his nose.
"They don't smell," she said sharply. "What are they?"
"Dainties. Raw dainties. For the outside market they're flavored in different ways, but here in Mycogen we eat them unflavored--the only way." She put one in her mouth and said, "I never have enough."
Seldon put his sphere in his mouth and felt it dissolve and disappear rapidly. His mouth, for a moment, ran liquid and then it slid, almost of its own accord, down his throat. He stood for a moment, amazed. It was slightly sweet and, for that matter, had an even fainter bitter aftertaste, but the main sensation eluded him.
From Prelude to Foundation, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Doubleday in 1988
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Thanks to Connor Lawrence for contributing this item.

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