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olpappy
07-15-2011, 10:30 PM
I don't live anywhere near any place that would have a farmer's market so unfortunately the only berries available are from chain supermarkets. When I was a kid the strawberries were softer, more easily damaged, but tasted a lot better than the berries today. Now the berries are selected for nice color appearance and shelf life, as a result the taste and texture are getting less and less desireable. I thought the Driscoll's were kind of firm and less tasty, but yesterday I bought another variety that has a deeper red color and looks beautiful, I was surprised that it its even firmer than the Driscoll and really firm in the center. I would even say its tending towards rubbery in texture. I don't think I will buy it again. Looks great, durable, taste/texture suffer.

I have a fond memory of picking wild blackberries when I was a kid. Tiny, sour and full of great flavor. Needless to say the store bought blackberries are always disappointing. Full of big seeds, I have to spit out debris that resembles what the birds leave on the hood of my car occasionally.

Whoever is breeding these berries, I hope they still have the other varieties available, it would sure be a shame someday if the only berries around were rubbery fruits with similar characteristics to a wax or plastic fake berry. I hope that people in who work in the food industry will promote more availability and choice, I think it would certainly be worth it to have berries with less shelf life but better texture and flavor.

SpikeC
07-15-2011, 11:09 PM
Our strawberry season is wrapping up, but the Hoods are the gold standard of strawberries. They don't ship well because they are delicate, so they are only available frozen outside of our immediate area. Good for us, too bad for everyone else!
Factory farms make things that look like vegetables, butt the local growers are where the flavor is.

Eamon Burke
07-16-2011, 12:33 AM
You know what I haven't seen in years? A display full of great, in-season, sweet-smelling cantaloupes. They've looked like total garbage every time I've seen one(at work, grocery, or market) for the last 5 or so years. What's up with that?!

ThEoRy
07-16-2011, 01:04 AM
It's because everything is being picked too early, gassed and rushed to the market. There still is good stuff locally but only at the peak of their season. Berries, melons and stone fruits should be peaking in the North East right now. Jersey tomatoes are ramping up now but are still a bit expensive though they are coming down a bit week by week.

cnochef
07-17-2011, 12:14 AM
I am blessed to live near the major wine and fruit growing region of Niagara, Ontario. I was at our local farmer's market today to buy the end of the strawberries. The raspberries, blueberries, red currants, gooseberries, mulberries are just coming into season as are apricots. I agree with you that much fruit has been ruined by packing, yield and getting to market issues. The worst offender has to be Driscoll's of California YUK! Still have yet to have any strawberries as good as the Ponchatoula strawberries from Louisiana.

olpappy
07-17-2011, 05:19 PM
Driscolls are about the only strawberries in the markets here. The new one I just tried is 'naturipe,' they look beautiful but are even more rubbery than the Driscolls!!