Saturday, February 13, 2016

My Take: Cardboard Tasting Produce

Dinner Last Evening
My friends and I enjoyed a lovely dinner last evening and composed of some great wines and fine food. One of the highlights of the evening was a tray of strawberries and pineapple to dip into a chocolate fondue.

It was then that I noticed that the strawberries looked awesome. They were a shot of summer during the dark, cold days of the winter. They even had a light fragrance of strawberry and while I thoroughly enjoyed them I noticed that they lacked flavor. Of course, they were out of season, what did I expect?

And then I thought about it, many of the fruits and vegetables I eat lack pizazz! I have gotten used to produce that looks good bit I have to imagine the taste rather than savor it. What is happening? I found the answer. Less that flavorful fruit is an intentional byproduct of American farming techniques. 

I discovered and article titled, Why Fruits and Vegetables Taste Better in Europe. In the article is a story about a man who created a tomato, named the Garden Gem, that is one of the most flavorful in the world, but it is not grown commercially because it would require more labor to pick than the larger more taste-deprived varieties. Similarly, the article points out that American consumers want bigger, which is not necessarily better.

The article carries the following statement,

"If you ask the question, 'Why are the chocolates better in Belgium and Switzerland?' it's because locals demand it that way," Schatzker added. "They don't tolerate or want lower quality. And they get upset when people try to pass off inferior quality food as being good."

Interesting thought, Why do our vegetables and fruit taste like cardboard? Because we, as consumers, do not demand higher quality. Wow! Fascinating thought. Producers are selling us exactly what we are demanding. It seems we are not demanding quality. 

Perhaps it is time to demand quality and be prepared to pay for it! 

My Take: I long for fruit that tastes as good as it looks and vegetables that likewise are as good as they appear!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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