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Most intense flavored fruits  RSS feed

 
Posts: 176
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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I’ve found over the years that I really prefer more intensely flavored fruit. Wickson Apple for example was a real eye opener. Is there a list anywhere of fruits by intensity of flavor? The fruits in the store and popular nursery varieties are quite bland. Older varieties in general seem to not be that way. Any thoughts or links would be appreciated. I grow apples, blueberries, cherries, medlar, mulberries, pears, persimmons and quince here in the willamette valley.
 
pollinator
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I have flavores more intense when I dry apples and pears

David
 
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I've not found such a list of flavorful fruits.

I do know that our fruit trees put out far better tasting fruit than any found in grocery stores including Fresh Market.
This is because I have made sure that all the nutrients, including micro nutrients are present in my soil along with the microbiota to help the trees make use of those nutrients.
 
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citrus?
 
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What do you mean with intense? Used to be a fruitarian... I mean, if you want something really intense, I would say durian...lol. But that fruit for sure does not grow in your place.
Some things many people dont think about, like ripeness, what your body needs at a certain time. So, you can have mind-blowing experiences with many different kind of fruits. Is it really warm? then juicy fruits are usually the most satisfying. Is is sort of cold? Dried fruits are the best for me. Eating a lot of citrus when you feel cold is NOT a good idea, you might start to freeze. Many fruits are cooling.
You need to adapt to the situation and your needs...
Some figs I've had were sort of bland but refreshing and juicy, others drier (even still on the tree) and totally over-sweet, nice to have just a few.



 
pollinator
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Location: istanbul - turkey
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I can't pinpoint cultivar with strongest flavor, but I think a bit of suffering intensifies the taste. It might be a bug attack or drought. I totally forgot one of our mandarin trees this year (no watering, no care, no mulch) and it has a very intense flavor. We can't eat it raw, so we are going to make jam from it.
Also generally as primitive as plants get their taste greatly increases. Maybe oldest or wildest
cultivars are what is what you are looking for.
If you consider pepper as a fruit, well, it can't get more intense than Carolina reaper ;)
 
Posts: 39
Location: san diego ca
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do you have any fruit growing organizations by you here in southern california we have crfg were they have tasting and scion exchanges. treesofantiquity has some of the older varietys online

some of the stone fruits are really flavorull. most flavorfull mulberry is probally black persian for me. concord grapes fresh are intense flavor.blood oranges are too

growing lots of sun mulch
 
Posts: 301
Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft
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For apples Fedco has a grading chart they call Pick the Right Apple

I'd save this as this disappeared for much of the last year. For intense flavor, I'd look at King David or Cherryfield as they list those with apples across the board.

edit:

I clicked on the PDF file link and noticed after I posted here that the two don't have all the same apples, so I saved both the web page and the PDF.

 
John Duda
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I've been thinking that it's possible that as you age you loose some of your taste buds, or the ability to taste... somewhat.

Also I think that too much moisture in the fruit cuts down the flavor. My tomatoes last year were a disappointment. We had a LOT of rain which I blame on the flavor loss. I know we're talking fruit, wait tomatoes are a fruit.

But I also think that when you buy fruit in the store you're buying fruit that was picked to early, it was picked hard to ship better, picked early so that it could be sprayed with a chemical to retard ripening. I know with apples they use Ozone in the warehouse. To avoid this you need to grow your own. I have two new peach trees. Last year one ripened for the first time. They were the best tasting peaches I've eaten in years! I picked them ripe.

Another thing I've noticed is the web site blog that lets folks tell us what their favorite apple for apple pie is. It's run by a brand of flour. They also sell concentrated apple juice to add to pies. So some are telling us that the only apple they'd use in their apple pie is _________. But then they brag they use the apple concentrate. What I read is they don't like that apple in their pie, they do it out of habit and use the concentrate to make a good tasting apple pie. My wife likes Golden Delicious in pies and to eat fresh. I like MacIntosh, to eat and as half the apples in the pie. She thinks MacIntoshes are bitter. I think they're sweet with a more intense flavor. So I'm guessing that consumers have been conditioned to like a low flavor intensity apple as being the normal apple.

It's my opinion that I'd like an intensely flavored apple to add to our pies. Maybe one, two or three intense apples. Maybe the whole pie? I ordered Black Baldwin and and RedField apple scions this spring, they're still in the cellar, Maybe in 3 years I'll get to try those.

 
Chris Holcombe
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Location: Zone 8b Portland
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@John Duda yeah that's basically what I was after.  Which variety is the most cherry tasting cherry, the most apple tasting apple, etc.  That chart you posted from fedco is right on the mark.  I wonder if there's similar charts for other fruits?
 
Posts: 267
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muscadines have a really strong flavor.  Especially the older or wild varieties before sugar content was taken into account.
 
Posts: 418
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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dont know if you can grow them but consort black currants have a strong flavor and make the best jam! i eat them strait but most people find them too strong. also musk strawberries are very strongly flavored  and might be in your interest.
 
John Duda
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I missed the Northern Spy in my earlier post. It also has apples across the Fedco grading board. There are a lot of apples with intense flavor. But what you need, if you're picking one to plant, is an apple with good attributes other than the intense flavor. If, like me, you're looking for apple to spice up your pies, apple sauce, or maybe cider then you can broaden your horizons.

With cherries if you're looking for flavor for pies, preserves etc then you need to look at tart cherries. If your making a pie from tart cherries from your own tree then you should have a good handle on how much sugar to add so that the pie is as sweet as a pie made from sweet cherries, but also has the flavor you're looking for.

 
pollinator
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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John Duda wrote:

But I also think that when you buy fruit in the store you're buying fruit that was picked to early, it was picked hard to ship better, picked early so that it could be sprayed with a chemical to retard ripening. I know with apples they use Ozone in the warehouse. To avoid this you need to grow your own.



This is so true.  I can hardly tell the difference between different types of apples when I buy then at the store.  The Honey Crisp apples from my tree taste nothing like the ones from the store.  We also have a very large you-pick-em apple orchard near me.  The taste variance is amazing, much the opposite of apples from the store.
 
steve bossie
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Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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Todd Parr wrote:

John Duda wrote:

But I also think that when you buy fruit in the store you're buying fruit that was picked to early, it was picked hard to ship better, picked early so that it could be sprayed with a chemical to retard ripening. I know with apples they use Ozone in the warehouse. To avoid this you need to grow your own.



This is so true.  I can hardly tell the difference between different types of apples when I buy then at the store.  The Honey Crisp apples from my tree taste nothing like the ones from the store.  We also have a very large you-pick-em apple orchard near me.  The taste variance is amazing, much the opposite of apples from the store.

i agree . and its even more profound with berries . nothing like picking a fully ripe raspberry or strawberry at peak of ripeness and popping it in your mouth! pure heaven!
 
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I'm reading a book about how to grow more flavorful fruit called "Grow for Flavor".  I picked it up on sale and it is based in the UK but it has been a real eye opener on the subject.  I'm not nearly as interested in the techniques as I was the listing of varieties.  Here is a link: https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Flavor-Supercharge-Homegrown-Harvests/dp/1770856692
 
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Location: Menlo Park, United States
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I rescue turtles. A botanist friend of mine told me their ick is incredibly healthy for plants. It most certainly is!

I grow organic, heirloom food for them and myself and use an organic water filter to first filter the water from their pond. Second, when I clean the filter sponges,
all the ick and water is captured in a wheelbarrow, to which I add epsom salt, to help bind the nutrients to the roots of the plants. Between the nitrogen, waste and
filtered water, the resulting flavor, size and robust volume of fruiting is Just Amazing.

First year, a sad lemon tree with pickle sized fruit, yielded over 2500-3K meyer lemons the size of grapefruits. You could smell one across a room all day long.
All my fruit trees, which had been neglected and unfed for years, has astronomical yields of the richest tasting fruit. One young persimmon only 7' tall and 3' in
diameter got 4 grocery bags of fruit. The 16" diameter apple trees branches had them all crack under the weight of the the fruit, after 90% of the blooms had been removed in spring.
Composting around the tree, like I do in the garden, is amazing. Add the epsom salt to a cleared area for watering, so you deliver food to the worms, roots and microbes.

I layer organic coconut coir, organic compost from my bin, organic hops from a local brewery, organic coffee grounds and put seeds in the ground.
The organic filter for the water, with a neonidium? magnet on each end of the hose, keeps metals in the water out of my food. Last year's 3 squash plants yielded
96 squash, the tomatoes and EGGPLANT are still growing and fruiting year round. Amazing flavor. Pond water every 3-4 weeks. Watering only every 10 days and less if
it rains. Nutritious, loose soil stocked with worms and covered with coconut coir holds 8x the water than regular soil does.

Also, I added dark wine bottles around the perimeter of heat loving plants- including strawberries. (Necks pointed toward the stem.) The extra hours of heat generated by
the dark bottles, partnered with covering the soil from evaporation with direct sunlight, keeps the interior of plants warmer and the branches reach out and up. This year,
I'm cementing my bottles into pyramids to capture more heat and make them more garden art that looking like trash strewn around. Mixing pretty bottles makes it more attractive.

I'm testing raising squash UP immediately, so moisture can't gather, deterring mold. Bottle pyramids with the necks facing the sky will be telling.

Just read to not disturb the microbes in soil; snip weeds, don't pull. Use groundcover crops for more nitrogen in rows between plants. Adding that to my plans this year.
 
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Chris - Have you ever been to the apple festival at Portland Nursery each fall? They have over 200 varieties that you can taste.  Its a great way to decide which cultivar you want to plant.  The problem is you have to wait until the fall.
 
gardener
Posts: 203
Location: Morongo Valley
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Do you mean you'd like variety recommendations?  If this is what you mean - I like vividly flavored fruit as well, and I would pick the best varieties I could for this reason.  I had little arable land, and wanted to only have the most flavorful fruit of each type for this reason.  No room for waste.

My garden was also very shady.  So fruit didn't develop to it's fullest potential.  I eliminated varieties because of this.  Something that tasted good in the Willamette Valley, did not necessarily taste the same in my coastal range mountain valley bit'o permaculture.

I did a few things to deal with this issue.  I went to One Green World tastings, and found some of the best varieties this way.

Fruit wise... a Bosc pear is really bland to me.  But there are winter pears, like Seckel and some of the other late winter pears, that are delectable.

This sounds counter intuitive considering what I have shared thus far... but.. I like Asian pears, too, even though most people think they are bland.  They are, but there is a jicama thing going on that can be nice.  However, to make them better, we actually dehydrated them.  Used to have gallons of dried Asian pears... yumm.  Then they are really good and my husband would eat them.  Also some varieties are much stronger tasting than others.

I used to do things like go pick berries at different farms, find the ones I liked, and then ask the variety.  And that's what we planted at home.  Patriot ended up a favorite blueberry, but I eventually tried Bluejay as well, and that was also a close contender.

Plums - Santa Rosa was always hard to beat in the Willamette Valley.  Some of the yellow Japanese styles could also come close some years.  For prune plums, Imperial Epineuse was a family favorite.

Golden Russet is my favorite apple.  It has zing.  Super sweet and tart. Liberty could also make a nice apple, but nothing beats a russet for me.

We grew Hood strawberries, which even in our quite shady garden, they converted my husband into a strawberry lover.

Our favorite raspberries were from a bunch of seeds from a local (also shady) garden.  That proved an effective way to find a good variety and bring it home, to my surprise.

Loganberries have been more flavorful than other blackberry/raspberry mixes in my experience.  Evergreen blackberry is usually more flavorful than the Himalayan, also in my experience.

Grapes - I like seeded ones, and also muscat and champagne. There is a medium-sized eating (versus wine) red-colored slip skin grape that is found mostly in heritage gardens.  I don't know the name.  It is ridiculously flavorful.  The red skin is slightly astringent, the inside slippery layer is light green and sour, and the jelly center is sweet.  I never identified it unfortunately.

Cranberries and lingonberries are very flavorful, sharp.

I've found astringent persimmons to be much more flavorful than the eat-anytime varieties, like Fuyu.  Burnt Ridge Nursery sells an astringent one called Saijo, which is supposed to be very wonderfully flavored.  We had it planted, but had to move before it fruited.

Bing was the most flavorful cherry I've found...

In general, I've found that many fruit varieties that ripen later are more flavorful than the earlier ones.  Not always true, but often enough to make a trend. Like golden russet apples.

I found that the little Ken's red hardy kiwis were much more flavorful than big fuzzy variety you find in stores.

Did you end up finding what you were looking for in this thread?  What other varieties have people found that are very flavorful?

 
Chris Holcombe
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Wendy Smith Novick wrote:Chris - Have you ever been to the apple festival at Portland Nursery each fall? They have over 200 varieties that you can taste.  Its a great way to decide which cultivar you want to plant.  The problem is you have to wait until the fall.



Great question.  I haven't been there yet.  I went to the all about fruit show from the home orchard society 2yrs ago but I had a 2yr old with me and that didn't go so well.  There was a lot of stuff I didn't get to try.  Maybe this year though
 
Chris Holcombe
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@Kim wow great post!  Yes I've got a lot of really great variety suggestions out of this thread.  I really appreciate everyones answers. 
 
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