I really tried to do a better job this time around, but there was just so much to see, so many varieties to taste, and so many great people to talk to that I still didn't take as many notes as I should have. Unfortunately, there were only two pummelo entries this year, and one of them wasn't even a pummelo, but an unidentified Oro Blanco. I was hoping to be able to taste Mato Buntan and Reinking, but no such luck. Here are some of my impressions from this year's tasting:
- The Wekiwa tangelo was a surprisingly tasty piece of fruit. It was fairly well colored, sweet, juicy, and with good flavor intensity. There was variability among the different Wekiwa entries, but they were all good. I'm glad I planted one.
- The blood oranges were a mixed bag. Earlier in the day I had tasted some Tarocco, Moro, and Sanguinelli blood oranges grown by Mr. Texas in Beaumont, and of these his Sanguinelli blood oranges were definitely the best. They were slightly pigmented, with wonderful and intense flavor. His Tarocco and Moros were fairly watery, and just didn't taste as good. At the citrus show I got to taste the same three varieties grown by Butch Roden of Clute, Texas. All of his entries had only very slight pigmentation, and the Moro was the best tasting of the three. Of the three blood orange varieties, I think Moro has the most distinctive flavor, and if I had to pick a favorite it would be Moro.
- The Henderson is an outstanding pink grapefruit, and there were some unbelievable Rio Red and Ruby Red entries this year, but I think my favorite grapefruit was the Duncan. Duncan is yellow-white and very seedy, but I was really blown away by the flavor. I can't wait until the Duncan I grafted last year begins to bear fruit. I was not impressed with the Bloomsweet grapefruit entries, but I think Bloomsweet won't be at peak ripeness until the end of December.
- The Fairchild mandarin had the best flavor of all the mandarins in my opinion, and maybe the best flavor of all the citrus entries at the show. Fairchild is a deep rich orange inside and out, with lots of seeds, and a fairly adherent peel. In spite of these drawbacks, the rich flavor and perfect balance of sweetness and acidity make this variety very hard to beat. I also really liked the Sunburst mandarin. The Honey mandarins were alright, but they to me they were all sugar and little flavor.
- I finally got to try a Raspberry Tangor, and I wasn't really impressed. The fruit was sweet, but also very acidic. I did not detect any raspberry flavor, and I won't be planting this variety.