[NAFEX] Cultivar Evaluations (ok, I'm in Z6, SE NY)
alandhaigh at gmail.com
Sun Feb 22 08:46:49 EST 2009
Appraising Taste of Various Fruit Cultivars
One thing I love about the world of home orchard fresh fruit fans is that
there is no professional hierarchy of taste makers. No Fruit Spectator
magazine to tell the eager masses what varieties are a "Best Buy" offering
the taste of a $4 a pound Flavor Grenade pluot at a $2 a pound Santa Rosa
In the on-line debates about relative flavor of different varieties,
everyone has their opinion and none are more truly valid than another. There
may be no one on this site who has more experience appraising apple
varieties than Ed Fackler. For years people begged him to make a list of
his favorite apples before he reluctantly did so. To me, the most memorable
description he gave was of the Goldrush apple- "battery acid off the
tree---heavenly at Christmas and keeps through May if stored in plastic".
What is interesting to me about this is I completely agree with the second
part of this description, but "battery acid off the tree"? Not in my mouth!
The Goldrush I pick off my trees starts as a very good tart- not
exceptionally acidic at all. I still love Ed's description- at least he
still endorses one of my favorites and the part I disagree with is so
People tend to think that THEIR Goldrush apple is THE Goldrush apple. It is
different things to different people and the variables start with taste buds
but goes way beyond that.
When Genda tells of the obvious superiority of Fall Red raspberry over
Heritage a lot of factors may be in play. Her sites climate and soil will
affect the quality of the fruit. How she manages her plants- are they
diligently watered- sprinkler or drip, does she mulch (with what, how deep?)
Various cultivars will be affected in contrasting ways by differences in
precipitation, relative cloud cover, daytime and or night time temperatures
at different parts of the growing season. With raspberries as well as other
fruit, being close to the coast as opposed to a few miles inland makes a
huge difference. Even whether Genda has other ripe fruit on her site that
she is successfully harvesting may play a role in her assessment. If
raspberries are all she's having success with, relative differences in
quality would likely be amplified.
Because of the differences in weather from season to season and its affect
on fruit quality, some experienced growers are reluctant to validate a
variety with a thumbs up before they've grown it for at least a decade. (If
I fall in love with a piece of fruit, I just can't wait that long.) West
coast growers don't tend to get as much contrast season to season so their
reliable evaluations can be made sooner.
But nothing seems to stimulate more response on a fruit grower's web site
than the "battle of the cultivars" debates- especially in the winter, when
these discussions help us to imagine once again harvesting the luscious
fruit off the plants after being deprived for months. Here's to that!
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the nafex