Is it me – or have some vegetables and herbs just lost it?…..
Garlic, for example. I remember the day when one small clove would flavour a whole dish; nowadays, most garlic is so gentle that you can use half a dozen large cloves and you are still groping for the flavour.
Coriander has definitely gone the same way. Only a few years ago, the scent from a small bunch of fresh coriander would permeate a whole room – to the delight of enthusiasts and the disgust of coriander haters. Now, to get even the faintest whiff, you need to bury your nose in the bag.
And now it is chillis… This evening I used a whole, long thin, green chilli which by rights, should have blown my head off, and it was scarcely even warm, let alone hot!
I do not believe that my taste buds have suddenly atrophied – unpasteurised Grano Padano or Parmesan still delights my palate with its sharp, rich depths of flavour, fresh parsley from the garden is still wonderfully pungent, a great Bordeaux still tastes like – a great Bordeaux….
What I do believe is that growers are deliberately breeding the stronger flavours out – presumably because they think they will sell more if they taste of less…… How depressing – especially since there is a good chance that with the flavour they are also breeding out key nutritional elements in those herbs and vegetables…
Speaking of which… I have finally unpacked and set up my new VitaMix smoothie maker – so biophoton (and flavour, we hope)-filled smoothies, here we come… More anon!