Every time we start getting into fall produce, people begin to notice the difference in flavor and texture of our local fruit. I reached out to Gene Etheridge, of Etheridge Farms, to help explain more details about what occurs during this time.
“Fall fruit is designed to be firm. If you leave your fruit out hoping for it to get softer (aside from hachiya persimmons) like the fruit does in the summer, it’s not going to happen. More crisp texture and less juice with more mild flavor is the norm. Example: The tangerines will have a green tinge on the outside but it will be orange on the inside and more tart than after the cold weather sets in. Cold weather causes sugar to form and make for a sweeter taste in citrus. At the same time, cold weather destroys stone fruit and makes it drop from the tree. That is why citrus or kiwi can thrive in the winter: stone fruit cannot. All stone fruit gets pollinated in Feb. – March. from that point each type of fruit has its own gestation period. The longer the gestation the “tougher” (harder) it has to be to survive. That is why Fall fruit has less juice and harder fiber, so it can survive the elements. The elements I refer to is the cool, windy, wet spring: the very hot, dry, summer, and the brisk change of going from Fall to winter. The less exposure to these conditions, the easier it is to have a good, juicy, tasty fruit.”