Flavour of supermarket veg

Anything to do with growing herbs and vegetables goes here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5094
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Flavour of supermarket veg

Post: # 290622Post Odsox
Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:56 am

A couple of weeks ago when we were in town we had lunch, which was a filled baked potato (which was nice) and "salad", which consisted of half a dozen wafer thin slices of tomato and a lump of coleslaw.
The tomato was absolutely tasteless, less taste than a glass of water, which raises the question .. why?

I'm still picking my windowsill grown tomatoes and they are full of flavour, and they are "non sun ripened" as we haven't seen hide nor hair of the sun for many weeks, but they are still sweet/acid and full flavoured.
I'm sure those salad tomatoes were grown in southern Spain, with probably more winter sun than we have in the height of summer, so why totally tasteless?
The reason of course is that the variety is chosen for many qualities, and flavour isn't one of them.

Which is probably more or less the case for all fruit and veg sold in supermarkets.
Which is sad.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

User avatar
Flo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1698
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:12 am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Flavour of supermarket veg

Post: # 290623Post Flo
Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:33 pm

Add to your observations:
1. Means of production
2. Transport
3. Storage
4. Breeding for long shelf life

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8651
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: Flavour of supermarket veg

Post: # 290624Post Green Aura
Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:24 pm

Yes, the main factor is being able to harvest them all in one go.

I wonder if they're also pretty tasteless because they're given sufficient feed (hydroponically) to mature but not sufficient/good enough quality to give the produce any flavour or colour - they're always really pale too.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

User avatar
Flo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1698
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:12 am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Flavour of supermarket veg

Post: # 290625Post Flo
Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:26 pm

Producing for money often leads to lower quality. Primark anyone?

User avatar
diggernotdreamer
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1843
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:23 pm
Location: North West Ireland

Re: Flavour of supermarket veg

Post: # 290628Post diggernotdreamer
Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:59 pm

why does a salad always have to come with tomatoes no matter how awful they taste. With so much amazing root veg available, there is no need for this at all. I can't grow tomatoes in winter, but I can dehydrate mine and store for the winter in oil, they have so much more flavour this way. Lack of imagination in most places is why they are happy to use substandard veg, I wonder if they actually ever bother tasting the stuff they are putting out.

User avatar
Flo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1698
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:12 am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Flavour of supermarket veg

Post: # 290629Post Flo
Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:01 pm

These would be people who have never tasted properly fresh or grown their own so wouldn't know what was wrong if they did taste I suspect.

User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5094
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Re: Flavour of supermarket veg

Post: # 290631Post Odsox
Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:25 pm

Flo wrote:Producing for money often leads to lower quality
I suspect you're right Flo. Supermarkets are very good at insisting on the lowest price and consumers have come to expect low produce prices as a norm.
Taking those tomatoes for instance, as you said earlier, the cost of production must be rock bottom or they won't sell. So the variety to grow is an F1 that grows fast, sets lots of largish fruit that quickly ripens, is easy to pick, doesn't bruise during picking and transport and has a very long shelf life.
Flavour doesn't even get considered.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

User avatar
Flo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1698
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:12 am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Flavour of supermarket veg

Post: # 290635Post Flo
Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:50 pm

Nope so the answer is to go to local producers who grow crops to suit local conditions and work in season. You won't get home grown tomatoes in January mind which might shock a lot of the population of the UK but you will get decently tasting veg.

User avatar
Weedo
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 330
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:47 am
latitude: 35.0886S
longitude: 147.1289E
Location: Collingullie Australia

Re: Flavour of supermarket veg

Post: # 290637Post Weedo
Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:32 pm

Its all about "bling"! Everything is marketed to attract the eye and hence the Buck - even the packaging (including the carton the toms are shipped in) is carefully designed to attract the buyer; and like all bling, the product does not match up to the hype.

In Oz there are a number of food labelling requirements; the Nutritional Information Panel which details a minimum set of food nutritional measures such as fat type and content, carb content etc. and the Health Star Rating which awards up to five stars depending on the "healthyness" of the food - eg my bottle of tonic water has a one and half star rating and zero nutritional value except for callories and carbs (its mostly water and sugar).

However (there is always a however) these labelling laws to not apply to fresh fruit and veg, beer, unpackaged foods, beer and repacked "portions" such as deli carving up a cheese wheel and selling wedges - (they do have to display the lebel at point of sale). I would not advocate forcing more packaging to get the label requirement but it would be nice if the retailer had to display the nutritional value of fresh foods at point of sale.

I am just picking my first vine ripe toms (yes, very late) and the flavours are great, even if they are cracking after heavy storm rains. one in particular has an apple size fruit and is possibly the best I have tasted in years. This one I got from a friend who saves his seed every year so its lineage is probably lost in the mists of time.
The winner of the rat race is still a rat!

Post Reply