‘Snow White’ strawberries are a new gourmet introduction, loved by top chefs and consistently ranked as one of the best flavoured in taste panels.
A sky-high sugar content of over 10 percent puts ‘Snow White’ near the top of the range: sweeter than Coca-Cola and containing over 70 percent more sugar than ‘Elsanta’ on average. Health freaks, don’t panic! The best news is that growing techniques that up the amount of sugar in your crops generally have the knock-on effect of sending the aroma compounds and nutrients, including key antioxidants, soaring.
Containing up to a whopping 2x the aromatic compounds of ‘Elsanta’, ‘Snow White’ is famous for its knock-out fragrance, including hints of kiwi, pineapple and candyfloss. Aroma chemicals are crucial as scientists estimate that only 20 percent of flavour is experienced by your sense of taste alone, with the vast majority perceived instead through smell as the aromatic compounds waft up the back of your throat and up your nose. The effect is so great that, if you close your eyes and pop a peg on your nose, slices of apples and onions are almost indistinguishable.
With 30 percent more acid than ‘Elsanta’ on average, these have a bright spritz of tartness that balances out their high sugar content. Even given their sweetness, without this crucial acidity the fruit could be perceived as having a bland, ‘flat’ flavour. As your tongue detects acids, your saliva glands ramp up their production to balance out the pH of your mouth, which also makes foods appear juicier AND more refreshing.
Generally speaking, the less tough and stringy fibres your crops contain, the more people will enjoy eating them. A soft, tender texture allows the flavour chemicals to be liberated more easily from the cells of the plants, making them taste more rich and intense. For most fruit crops this won’t be too much of an issue, but for leaf crops this could turn almost inedible living fibreboard into sweet, succulent salad.
Extracted from Grow for Flavour by James Wong. Available here