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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Why Apricots and Early Peaches Were Bland This Spring

Our spring this year was cool and wet. Even our early summer was that way. This kind of weather was good for producing a lot of tomatoes but not necessarily for high-quality tree fruits.

Early apricots and even some peaches can be harvested in mid to late May in our climate. The best early-season fruit bright, sunny skies and warm temperatures. This year our skies were overcast and temperatures were cool all the way into May.
Earlitreat peach, one of the earliest peaches, can be harvested in mid-May in the Las Vegas area. This is even before most apricots are ready. On a five star scale, this is a four-star peach.
Temperatures below 95° F are great for setting tomato fruit but not necessarily the best when it comes to producing high quality tree fruit. The taste of fruits is complex. It isn't just about sugar content. Devices like refractometer
Refractometers measure total soluble solids which is a "reflection" of sugar content. But sugar content may not tell you anything about quality.
s only measure total soluble solids which can be equated with sugar content. Sugars only provide sweetness.

We need other tastes to provide a good flavor profile to fruit. Flavor begins with a balance between sugars and acids that we find favorable.This includes a mixture of organic acids such as acetic, tartaric and malic acids to balance flavor and aromatic volatiles that provide that first whiff of the fruit even before it enters our mouth.
This is Indian blood peach which has a wonderful floral taste and aroma when grown in our desert climate and allowed to tree ripene. It has been around for a long time and is implanted much anymore.Most people pick it too soon and you do not get all of those floral notes.
Cool temperatures and cloudy skies do not promote good sugar development. Under these conditions sugar content stays lower than normal and the acid content remains high. So the ratio of acids to sugars is not the best. When we have bright, sunny skies and warm to high temperatures then sugar content is boosted and the ratio of sugar to acids becomes delicious.

The only other thing we need to make this a perfect fruit is to allow it to mature so that those volatiles fill our noses. This is why when I shop for fruit I use my nose before I buy it. You can smell good fruit before you taste it. Ask any fruit loving bird.

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