Thursday, February 7, 2013

Taste test anyone?

In an earlier post, I shared some statistics on the caneberry industry in Oregon. As I mentioned, the majority of the fruit is used in the processing industry. The USDA-ARS Small Fruit breeding program has lots of samples to evaluate each year, some evaluations are done in the field, but since most of the fruit is used frozen, evaluations of frozen fruit is needed. So each year, Dr. Chad Finn and Brian Yorgey, his colleague from the OSU Department of Food Science, freeze lots of samples of fruit and bring it to events for public evaluation.  Above are plates of frozen red and black raspberry and blackberry fruit including named standard varieties and newer numbered selections. Attendees volunteer to evlauate (taste test) each one and fill out a form. Although it may seem daunting, Chad says that through these evaluations, some selections rise to the top each year. I am afraid to admit I only had time to taste a few before I had to give a talk and by the time I got back they were gone. Did anyone else get to taste them? Your impressions?

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