Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fruit Tastings

Last year and this year, Theressa and I attended fruit tastings at One Green World and at the Home Orchard Society's "All About Fruit Show". From those, I have scribbled notes on various scraps of easily mislaid papers with our reactions to the different varieties and fruits. It seems useful to compile those notes here, both for our benefit and for anyone else who comes along. I suspect other notes will turn up after I post this, which I'll just integrate into this post...so don't be surprised if new varieties magically appear later.

Note that these reactions are by no means definitive--fruit quality can vary widely depending on whether it was harvested at the optimum time, the quality of the soil in which the plant is growing, whatever whims our non-professional taste-testing palates impose, and so on. That said, here's what we've got:

Kiwis

Home Orchard Society All About Fruit Show, fall 02005

  • Dumbarton Oaks - yum! slight bitterness
  • Arguta purpurea (Hardy kiwi?, Red) - very good
  • 74-49 - As good as Dumbarton Oaks without bitterness
  • Kuenta 72.001 - very good
  • Michigan State - so so
  • Cordifolia - very good
  • Anna - very good
  • Hardy Red - different taste, very good. Theressa wonders whether the fact that it's red gives it extra nutritional value?

One Green World, fall 02006

  • Hardy Red - bitter says Norris, Theressa likes
  • Rossana, Dumbarton Oaks, 4-96, L-167, Michigan State, Anna - all good
  • #54 especially good
  • Fully ripe Annas straight off the vine in the OGW orchard are especially enjoyable

Apples

Theressa likes crisp, tart apples. Norris likes a fair amount of sweetness, though sweet-tart is fine.

Home Orchard Society All About Fruit Show, fall 02005

  • Ashmead's Kernel - Theressa and Norris like. Maybe a hint tarter than Norris prefers
  • Black Gilliflower - neat color, good taste
  • Braeburn - crips, some tart, Theressa likes
  • Calville Blanc - meets both taste bud needs [not sure in retrospect what this means--maybe Theressa's requirement for tart and crisp. Or maybe it appealed to both N & T]. Kinda like the apple tree at Theressa's house at Rhine.
  • Earligold - mushy, nothing special
  • Fiesta - good, crisp
  • Gala - soft, low on flavor
  • Honeycrisp - watery
  • Idared - eah [not impressed]
  • Liberty - pretty good
  • Pink Lady - Excellent [we've also enjoyed Pink Lady's from the supermarket]
  • Red Boskoop - T likes the tart, N would like a tad less
  • Spartan - crisp, tasty
  • Sonata - crisp, very sweet, but enough tart for T which N doesn't notice
  • Spitzenburg - good
  • Swiss Gourmet - soft
  • Zeek's Longkeper - T likes, N thinks "OK", bland

One Green World, fall 02006

  • Callaway crabapple - N likes OK, T finds sour
  • Golden Sentinel - N likes OK, T not so impressed
  • Northpole - not impressed
  • Scarlet Sentinel - N likes OK, T likes OK
  • Spartan - OK

Asian Pear

Home Orchard Society All About Fruit Show, fall 02005

  • Chojuro - good!
  • Czui - not much flavor, softer, more tartness
  • Daisui Li - T likes OK, N finds watery and bland
  • Imamuraaki - a littel tart, almost apple. T likes.
  • Lao Suan Li - very good!
  • Large Korean - grows well, good for drying. So-so on the taste test.
  • Komenashi - dryish, mealy, weird crunchy bits
  • Kosui - pretty good. T likes.
  • Niitaka - butterscotchish, crisp, some strange tastes
  • Raja - OK, funny taste that comes out [I think this means an aftertaste]
  • Seuri - interesting pineapple? taste, crisp, enough flavor but not lots
  • Seuri li - a little more flavor than Seuri, quite good. T likes
  • Shinko - watery, crisp, no flavor
  • Shin Li - More flavorful, not blown away
  • Ya Li - even waterier

One Green World, fall 02006

  • Daisui Li - N likes well
  • Raja - yum!
  • Ya Li - N likes OK

European Pears

Theressa isn't a big fan of pears in general, though she hasn't had a lot of exposure to different varieties.

Home Orchard Society All About Fruit Show, fall 02005

  • Belle de Beugny - little taste
  • Cascade - T says like Wasser/Warren, general standard pear taste. N likes, but like Wasser better.
  • Conference - Norris yum (had this at HOS '06)
  • Elliot - good
  • Leona - kinda an apple. Crisper, less sweet.
  • Lezinova - eah
  • Mellina - OK
  • Princess - yum
  • Turnbull - bleh
  • Wasser (Warren?) - yum!

One Green World, fall 02006

  • Shipova - yum! says N, unique taste. T likes OK, too much pear taste for her to be excited.

Figs

One Green World, fall 02006

  • Lattarulla - very sweet, N and T like
  • Peter's Honey - sweet, N and T like
  • Vern's Brown Turkey - not very sweet, neither N nor T impressed

Grapes

One Green World, fall 02006

  • Blue Muscat - similar to Glenora, stronger flavor.
  • Canadice - a little tart-sweet, good.
  • Glenora - good
  • Heavenly Blue - yech
  • Marquis - good (instinguishable from Reliance)
  • Reliance - good (indistinguishable from Marquis)

Home Orchard Society All About Fruit Show, fall 02006

  • Challenge - OK, not exciting
  • Marquis - yum!
  • Mars - OK
  • Vanessa - OK

Pawpaws

Home Orchard Society All About Fruit Show, fall 02005

  • Wells - interesting flavor with aftertaste, not so sweet [not convinced that this was fully ripe]

One Green World, fall 02006

  • Unnamed Pawpaw in official tasting - N likes, T doesn't like--got a bitter taste from it.
  • Found fully ripe Pawpaws on the trees in the OGW orchard, which were all delicious to N and T.

Miscellaneous

Aronia

Raw - meh. Sweetened juice tastes good.

Chinese Haw

Both N and T yuck, cardboard apple but bitter! (OGW '06)

Chinese Dogwood (Cornus kousa)

  • Big Apple - tasty goop inside, 2 seeds. Skins yucky. (HOS '05)
  • E14 - sweeter goop than Big Apple, but more seeds. Skin not good. (HOS '05)
  • fresh from OGW orchard trees and local Portland trees - N and T enjoy a lot.

Cornelian Cherry

  • unnamed variety - OK, big seed, not much flesh (HOS '05)
  • unknown yellow variety - OK, nothing special (local Portland tree)
  • unknown red varieties, probably somewhat overripe - range from OK to somewhat too tart for N's taste though T likes OK (OGW orchard '06)

Jujube

N and T have found all the Jujubes they've tried, whether at fruit tastings or from OGW orchard trees, to taste like cardboard apples. Not impressed

Persimmons

  • Garretson - yum! small clusters (HOS '05)
  • We've scavenged some fallen persimmons from local Portland trees, and from a OGW orchard tree in '05 and '06, all generally in the fully ripe, mushy stage--all have been really tasty
  • We had some supermarket nonastringent types last year, and some supermarket astringent types. We both liked both types. Astringent seem to be sweeter, but the ability to eat nonastringent like crispy apples is nice.
  • Norris has eaten fallen American persimmon fruit at the Home Orchard Society demo orchard--fully ripe mushy, yum! Lots of waste though, since trees are way high and you have to scavenge relatively undamaged fruit from what's fallen to the ground

Seaberry

Seaberry juice, sweetened, tastes good. Raw seaberry - yuck.

Wolfberry

Dried wolfberries not terribly exciting but knowing how healthy they are, tasty enough to eat happily. Wolfberry fresh off the plant - good! (OGW '06, new named variety they're carrying)

1 comment:

orna said...

on the question of whether red kiwis have more something to 'em: probly. Food of color is good. The colors are made of flavinoids (aka "bioflavinoids") all of which, I believe, are at least antioxidant and probly some other things I should remember but don't.