Great nectarine trumps both great apricots and cherries

fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TXMay 19, 2014

Harvested the first Arctic Star today. It was a small, split pit specimen. But it had that great low acid flavor that Arctic Star fans appreciate. Have to say it trumped some superb Orangered and Robada apricots and some potently sweet/tart cherries.

The best cherries right now are 28+ brix, very sweet/tart, Bing and Benton. They are also superb but nothing has as rich a flavor as a great nectarine.

Rainier and Royal Rainier, both blush cherries are softer, lack the tart side of flavor profile, and aren't not as good as the dark cherries.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Mon, May 19, 14 at 23:55

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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I think part of it is where they are grown. The Rainer here are much better than the dark. They certainly are not soft either. Of course they also are far from being ready this year. So that also might have something to do with it. Many are just forming at this point.
Something also is I have never seen a nectarine flavored anything. Cherry on the other hand. That really doesn't say anything, but to me cherry flavor cannot be beat.
I'm going to have to fed-ex you some of our rainier, so you can make a comparison. It may just be me. I do also like nectarines. A good nectarine is awesome, like they say apple and oranges, I can't really say I like them better. or worse, they are so different from cherries.
I do though like that cherry flavor even bad ones. Cornelian cherries, red currants, etc are my fav kinda fruits. Sort of taste like tart cherries.
You seem to have a finer palate than me, it's hard for me to distinguish at times. I also love hot peppers, the hotter the better! Probably burned out my taste buds long ago!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 1:51AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


All nectarines aren't the same by a long shot. I've had many poor ones. You need the right variety and growing conditions. I suspect that many experienced growers can't imagine a great tasting low acid anything. The low acid white peaches I've grown have been largely junk. Same with some nectarine, not all.

Part of today's ration of fruit, from top left: Arctic Star. Robada, Cot-N-Candy, and Springhigh blueberries. CNC isn't as good as Robada or Orangered. Springhigh is way better flavor than Star, Emerald, or Santa Fe also ripe now.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 10:51AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

How does Arctic Star compare to Honey Royale?
Also,did your Springhighs come from Florida Hill Nursery? Brady

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 11:15AM
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Very nice Fruitnut, I just pruned my Springhigh last night. Hopefully I can get it to really bush out this year and double my lbs for next spring. Finally got it into a 30 gallon pot so it can possibly reach its full size over the next few years.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 8:51PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


I'd rate Arctic Star a step behind Honey Royale. But for as early as Arctic Star matures it's one great fruit. Flavor Supreme matures about the same time as Arctic Star and is only slightly behind. Depending on how well I've grown them anyone could come out on top.

I did learn one thing from this yrs Arctic Star. I think I caused the high incidence of split pits by thinning too much too early. I'll correct that another yr.

Yes my Springhigh were from FHN. I'm pretty sure I've got it ID correctly.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 9:26PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Thanks fruitnut,
I'll probably give Springhigh a try and maybe even Honey Royale,if it will produce here. Brady

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 11:23PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)


What does "split pit" mean, other than the dictionary meaning of the words?
Why is that bad? and...
Why would too much thinning cause split pit?


    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 6:51AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Split pit means the pit has been pulled into two parts by the forces of the expanding fruit. Shattered pit means the pit has been broken into many parts. Some of my Arctic Star has shattered pits.

On early maturing varieties thinning too much and too early can cause the remaining fruit to grow so fast that it pulls the pit to pieces. This yr I got carried away in my zeal for the sweetest fruit. Thinned even earlier and more than usual. Paid the price.

On very early maturing peach/nectarine you are caught between a rock and hard place. Don't thin enough/early and the fruit is small and possibly bland. Thin too much and pits can split/shatter. I now know where the line is with Arctic Star.

Later maturing varieties have harder pits at least partly because they have a much longer pit hardening stage. Early fly right thru that stage.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 8:31AM
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Nice haul, fruitnut! My morning fruit plate had a huge 'Black Jack' breba, some boysenberries and blueberries.

I agree that a dead ripe nectarine is hard to beat. My 'Arctic Star' got hit pretty hard by Mr, Squirrel and family --in broad daylight. The ones that I've brought in so far have been excellent this year.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 10:51AM
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