Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Fruits of sweet science

…According to Katy McLaughlin, in the Wall Street Journal (June 3, 2006), fruit growers are trying to find ways to make fruit sweeter.

…One horticulturalist at the Univ of Arkansas has worked for 26 years to breed the tartness out of blackberries.

…Heard of a Kandy Primo? Despite the spelling, candy is right! It’s a cantaloupe with a high sugar content. (HA is from Missouri, we eat cantaloupe with salt there and call it “The Midwestern Treat.”)

…The Cara Cara orange has tripled sales in the past few years. Sweet!

…Jazz and Pink Lady are ultra-sweet apples that don’t turn grainy. HA read about one of these in a novel over the weekend—the characters were saying how it was the best apple they ever ate!

…New fruits used to be bred by universities—now big companies do it with an eye to the bottom line.

…Or how about weirdies like the Grapple (pronounced Gray-Pul)? It’s a Fuji apple dipped in Concord grapejuice and is flying off the shelves. Kids send it fan mail.

…Apparently, nutritionists are pretty unfazed by this stuff, saying vits, minerals and fiber in these engineered creatures are also up, despite the slightly higher calorie count.

…Meanwhile, the companies are showing up at sporting events and passing out free samples. Free samples. Of fruit.

…If people have any hesitation (although chefs don’t love these), it’s because they think it’s Frankenfruit—genetically engineered.

…But no, it’s the same old cross-pollinating and grafting Luther Burbank did.

…Only with sugar in mind.

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