Tomato flavor

Did anyone happen to see an article in the NY Times, I think June 28?
Title: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes, Study Finds.
Interesting.
HB
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Higgs Boson wrote:

The fact that modern tomatoes have been bred for looks first (and durability second) is nothing new. It is interesting that the specific genes and their ancilliary functions have now been identified is interesting but the result that the cost is in flavour is not a big surprise. Maybe (just maybe) this will lead to the super tomato that has it all and no downside but until that happens looks will triumph every time.
Here's a thought. If supermarkets provided taster samples of produce would you take the time to taste? If the best taste was the worst look would you buy for taste? Really?
David
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I have a few tomatoes in the house right now. They are called ugly tomatoes which are pricey but they taste like a "real tomato".
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Perhaps to the uninitiated. McDonalds does a good job of selling wadding to keep your belly-button from rubbing against your backbone, and the "best" thing about it is it has no flavor, but then USians have a long history for rejecting flavor, be it wine, or tomatoes.
Another glitch in the commercial production of tomatoes is that they are picked when still firm and green to minimize shipping damage, usually a good two weeks before optimum ripe stage. They are then held in cold storage up to a month before they reach the shelves of your market. Ethylene gas chambers are used to artificially induce color and ripeness. Heirloom tomatoes, on the other hand, are usually sold locally, and as a result they can be picked, and sold fresh.
There is some minor redemption to be had for commercial tomatoes, if you plan ahead. Tomatoes will ripen and develop a bit more flavor if left at room temperature in indirect (not direct) sunlight for three to five days or when placed in a paper bag with an apple or banana for a day or two. They still won't be as flavorful as home-grown tomatoes allowed to truly ripen on the vine, but there is some small improvement if you don't have the luxury of a garden. However, if the supplier has not judged properly and has picked those green tomatoes too soon, nothing will help them.
Hydroponic tomatoes may look beautiful and perfect to the eye, but they are sadly lacking in flavor and contain less vitamin C.
For most people, I suspect store bought tomatoes will taste just fine. GMOs, and pesticides, though, are a completely different story.
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan <(Amazon.com product link shortened) 583/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid06815576&sr=1-1> (Available at a library near you, as long as they remain open.)
The fact that the nutritional quality of a given food (and of that food's food) can vary not just in degree but in kind throws a big wrench into an industrial food chain, the very premise of which is that beef is beef and salmon salmon (and tomatoes are tomatoes). It also throws a new light on the whole question of cost, for if quality matters so much more than quantity, then the price of a food may bear little relation to the value of the nutrients in it. If units of omega-3s and beta carotene and vitamin E are what an egg shopper is really after, then Joel's (Salatin/Polyface Farm) $2.20 a dozen pastured eggs actually represent a much better deal than the $0.79 a dozen industrial eggs at the supermarket. As long as one egg looks pretty much like another, all the chickens like chicken, and beef beef, the substitution of quantity for quality will go on unnoticed by most consumers, but it is becoming increasingly apparent to anyone with an electron microscope or a mass spectrometer that, truly, this is not the same food.
Act Globally, eat locally.

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In article

It's why gardeners like heirloom tomatoes that were/are grown for flavor, not for appearance, and long shelf life.
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wrote:

That's not true. People grow heirloom tomatoes for the same reason they frequent thrift shops searching for vintage merchandise, they are romancing the past. Fact is most heirloom tomatoes nowadays are modern hybrids; modern plant genetisists can pretty much produce any look they want in a tomato... but there are even more modern round red tomatoes one can grow at home with flavor just as good and better than the ugli so-called heirlooms. It's a fallicy that things old school are better. It's not fair to judge home grown heirlooms against stupidmarket tomatoes. I've grown heirlooms, compared to my round red homegrowns heirlooms were a big disappointment, especially their texture; tough skins and seedy.
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Brooklyn1 wrote:

I don't suppose that you have any supporting evidence for this 'fact'? Since the heirlooms breed true that says that they are NOT hybrids.
modern plant genetisists can pretty much produce any

There have been extensive taste tests done that reveal people can tell the difference.
It's a fallicy that things old school

If you are saying that vine-ripened against cold-stored and ripened off the vine is not a fair comparison of genetics then I agree. That is not the whole story however, genetics makes a difference as well as environment and treatment.
I've grown heirlooms, compared to my round red

That was your experience, don't generalise it to the rest of the world.
David
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On Thu, 12 Jul 2012 10:42:59 +1000, "David Hare-Scott"

I'm not dictating what anyone else experiences, everything I've said is my experience. And there are no references for what people taste, there is no accounting for taste... for all I know what tastes like tomatoes to you tastes like bananas to me and vice versa and no one can prove otherwise. Everyones taste buds are different, but keep in mind that most folks are afflicted with TIAD.
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