Sunday, June 26, 2011

Zone 3, Northern Minnesota - Tundra Taste Test

5/8" Blue Belle berry next to 1" Tundra berry
Finally, the big day arrived when the Tundra were ripe enough to compare to the Blue Belle honeyberries! First of all, the size was amazing - so much larger than the Blue Belle! We see that the smaller Tundra berries were about the same length as the largest Blue Belle berries, but a bit plumper. The largest Tundra berries were way bigger. The waxy coating is visible on the fotos. And the taste? Blue Belle - sweet-tart with a hint of "wildness", as in something you would expect to pick out in the wild versus a domesticated berry. The Tundra was very pleasant. I didn't find it tart at all. I thought it resembled a domesticated blueberry flavor more than the Blue Belle. It is indeed a sturdy berry that appears to hold its shape well. The skin was thicker than Blue Belle's, but still melted in the mouth. With only a dozen or so berries on this two year old nursery grown plant, this is strictly a fresh eating sampling. I was expecting more tartness and am eager to try some Borealis berries in Canada next month to see which I like better. My evaluation so far of Tundra is that it has measured up to the claims of it being a great berry for its size, flavor, and sturdiness. In regards to the other edible blue honeysuckle berries that I have tasted I would have to say that I like the other ones as well, but given the tremendous difference in size there is no question as to the value of the Tundra.

Jason, from Ohio, emailed how he prefers the sweetness of the Tundra compared to other honeyberries he has tasted, but also that berries taste sweeter after a rain. After last night's soaker, I can verify that fact.  Bernis, Northern Minnesota

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