Which organic fruits taste better?
Just focusing on taste, which organic fruits in your experience taste better than their regular counterparts? In other words, which organic fruits have a more vibrant flavor and just taste "more fruity"?
Which ones taste worse?
Which ones don't taste any different?
Not talking about what's better for environment, your health, etc. Just focusing on taste.
In my experience:
Apples (Fuji, honeycrisp, mutsu)
Pears (bartlett, anjou, bosc)
You are attempting to cover a pretty broad topic here.
The quality of produce is much like quality in reporting the news. The factors to cover are " Who, what, why, where, when and how."
As an example I'll use a strawberry, since it is common and on you list.
Strawberry growers span a great spectrum. The largest producer of organic strawberries in the US is Driscolls in southern California http://www.driscolls.com/
They are a huge factory farm that added organics years ago due to consumer demand for organic products. Most times of the year they provide harvest from ever bearing plants. I have yet to find an ever bearing strawberry that I find acceptable to eat. They often taste like wood. Their texture is firm and crunchy . They grow these varieties to to keep berries in stores 11-12 months a year regardless of the ultimate quality. They can farm year round because the mild climate of their Southern California location allows it. Their berries are picked before their prime so they will ship and store well. Their goal is maximum yield at a competitive price. Their market presence is huge.
In stark contrast to this situation there is the local farm stand that supplies me with about 90% of my total consumption of strawberries. They are closed right now, and won't be harvesting any fruit for at least another 6 to 8 weeks. They grow a highly perishable June bearing crop. The berries are grown with taste, rather than size or yield, as the ultimate goal. The result is a beautiful tender berry with a floral bouquet and a great balance of sugar and acid. I regularly pay more for these berries than I do for supermarket berries. This is a family run business that sells exclusively from the stand on their property. Even though the operation follows all the statutes that are necessary to qualify as "state certified organic" they don't have that certification. It would cost thousands of dollars, and they don't see the need for the piece of paper, as business is brisk without it.
Not all organics are created equal. The people behind them have different plans and visions. The species and subspecies of crops are selected for different reasons. The approach to the business plans are different. The growing areas offer different advantages and disadvantages. The seasons vary from one micro climate to the next. The farming methods are different too.
Whether a piece of fruit carries the label of "organic" or "conventional" has less to do with the final quality of the product then people are led to believe. As more big players enter into the organic produce market, the more it will come to resemble the conventional market.
re: Brandon Nelson
I my experience the best tasting fruit is that which is grown to full maturity and eaten the day it id harvested. The growing format is seldom a factor. The only 2 fruits I have found to hold on to field chemicals strongly have been strawberries and muskmelons.
I spent me entire life disliking papaya. I never found it appealing. When my wife and I were married in 02 we honeymooned in Jamaica. The first breakfast we had there featured a big spread of local fruit. the papaya looked and smelled nice enough I decided to give it another go. I discovered I enjoy papaya that is mature and fresh. The bananas we had we also awesome.
The point I am trying to make is proximity to fruit that is ripe and ready far outweighs growing method in terms of end quality.
re: Brandon Nelson
I even feel the same way about celery. I used to think of it as something you use in mire poix, but not as a tasty vegetable on its own until I had it fresh from the field. There's nothing headier than the smell of a field of fresh celery and the taste, too. But, once it sits, it becomes like cardboard.
It's hard to say. Something organic shipped in from Chile doesn't taste as good as something conventional that we've just picked. Are you comparing apples to apples, so to speak, like an organic apple off a local tree to a conventional apple off a local tree? Or just whatever you can find in a grocery store. And, also in that case, turnover is very important. Organics at WF taste better than organics at the commissary because the turnover is much faster. The organic produce at the commissary has been around far too long. I think there are too many variables to say which is better.
That's my thought as well. I think the priority is buying local, in-season produce. And when that's not possible, I haven't noticed any difference between the products. Just got a bag of organic mutsu apples on sale last week, and they were indistinguishable from the conventional bags I'd been buying previously.