Have your tastes changed as your experience grows?

I wrote this in another topic, "I wonder if the more years you’ve grown apples and the more varieties you grow the less likely you are to be impressed with Honeycrisp. Early in my fruit growing career, my palate was not so jaded. I used to love sweet and juicy Asian pears, such as Korean Giant, for example, and now I prefer really good European pears for their more “complex” taste profile. Fuji was also my favorite apple when I was younger, and before that, Mutsu. Now they just aren’t very interesting to me, although I occasionally feel like a nice Fuji just for the textured sweetness.

I don’t know if my tastes changed as a result of just getting older (old people are more likely to prefer black coffee, I’m told) or because my palate keeps needing more and more pizzazz to be impressed. If its an age issue, I imagine as I get a few decades further along I will gravitate towards sweeter and sweeter fruit again.

What are your experiences in a changing of your tastes with increased experience? Why do you think your tastes have changed, if they have?


Tastes get more picky for me. When I first started growing peaches, I loved them all because they were actually juicy. I could even pick peaches from the center of the tree and thought those were great. I was mostly just after the texture/juiciness

After a while I started to discern more sugar and flavor and started to develop more standards for what qualified as a good peach. This has especially affected my tastes of white peaches. I really have very few white peaches I like anymore. I’ve probably grown 15 or 20 different white peaches, but now I’m down to 4 or 5 I really like. I just cut down 3 trees of Blushingstar this winter because I didn’t like the peach that well, even though Blushingstar is touted as a good tasting white from commercial growers.

I’ve found many of my customers also go through this evolution. At first they are wowed by any peach, even though they may have gotten some early season peaches which were just OK. After buying peaches for a while, they too get more discerning.

I do like Fuji apples, but maybe I haven’t grown enough apples to become an apple snob yet. I’ve only grown about 15 different varieties. But I think my tastes have gone through some evolution. I remember as a kid I even liked red delicious from the store if I could occasionally get some that had some crunch. Then when Gala came out, I thought that was an improvement. Then Pink Lady followed and I thought those store bought apples were heavenly. Now I can’t eat a store bought Gala.

Last summer, I gave some Mustu’s to a guy who did some work for me. I thought the Mustu’s were OK but I spoke with him a few weeks later and he liked them so much he went to the trouble to save the seeds and plant them (thinking he could get an identical apple from the seeds). So I think most people’s standards do rise the more varieties they are exposed to.

I think people’s tastes change because as they get better tasting food, they don’t want to go back. I see people buy peaches from Walmart and those peaches are awful (I occasionally buy a few from the store to see what they are selling.) I honestly don’t know how people eat some of those store bought peaches. They don’t even taste like a peach, imo. I’m sure if they ever tried peaches off the tree, they wouldn’t be buying the Walmart ones.

Maybe it’s not that different than anything else in the animal kingdom. I’ve found if you feed dogs enough “people” food (i.e. table scraps) they will quit eating dog food. I’ve tasted dog food before, and while it is edible, it’s not that good.


I mostly copied and pasted this from the post under the other topic. Taste buds in general I believe change with age. When I was a kid anything sugary was wonderful. I dodged certain veggies in those days such as turnips, cabbage etc. . My taste buds are completely different now because I savor cabbage and will tolerate turnips. I love Asian pears such as Drippin’ Honey and Korean Giant. I do enjoy really good European pears but they are rare in comparison to the hundreds of hybrid European pears with sand pear as part of their parentage. Some of those hybrids are very good but lack the complexed deep pear flavored you described. Harrow sweet has a hint of those complexed flavors in the meat of the pear. The small yellow unknown pear I grow is rich with true pear flavor. Very few pears or apples can live up to those flavor expectations. Once Seckel, worden, warren, Potomac, and magness mature I suspect my palate will change again. We are forever trading up as we grow better fruit. I should also mention I’m like a painter that paints their self in the corner I grow more and more difficult to grow fruit all the time. I may have reached a breaking point this year because I’m grafting abate fetel, forelle, and Comice. I think as humans we get a little greedy at times for good things and that greed with those varieties may cost me a few trees. I know this from past experience with a clapps favorite tree being killed to the ground from fireblight.


Of course, you can’t clearly cut natural changes coming form an aging pallet from those made due to wider experience. Even if very old people lean toward sweet, sweet, sweet, that may be due to a loss of smell and other factors that only occur at a certain point in the aging process.

Incidentally, I’m on the cusp of 65.


Then there are those of us that don’t know if our taste has changed.
I am truthful in saying that I only started growing apples 5 years ago.
Before then I literally thought that all apples tasted the same. (Red Delicious)

So I am tasting the apple flavors for the first time.
Very quickly becoming a snob.


I’ve never been impressed by Honeycrisp. It’s just sweetness and crispness without much flavor, but by the time Honeycrisp was released I had already eaten dozens of the best heirloom apples over many years. I prefer complex flavors in apples. Unfortunately many American consumers prefer high sugar foods and tend to ignore flavors.

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I don’t have all that much experience with apples, but there is a decent selection available locally. Honeycrisp has never appealed to me, too watery. I went from Mutsu as a favorite when I was younger to Jonagold and now Fuji.

I don’t know if my preference in fruits has changed. It’s just that I’m growing much better fruit now than I did 50 yrs ago. So what I’m eating now is much more pleasing to my taste than back then. I like sweet fruit but also high flavor. The one fruit that most stands out in my experience as very sweet but totally lacking in flavor is Jujube, even Honey Jar and Sugarcane. In comparison HC is very tasty.


Your description of Jujube is how I feel about persimmon. I’ve not grown my own but have eaten several over the last two years and to me they are pure sweetness with no other redeeming qualities. These were Asian types. native persimmons the other hand have a complex flavor but dreadfully disgusting texture. I would prefer and eat just about any apple or pear I’ve ever tasted to persimmon.


Honey Jar and Sugarcane don’t have much flavor. They’re just very sweet. Autumn Beauty, Chico and Orange Beauty jujubes have flavor.


Fuyu/Jiro persimmons don’t have a very complicated flavor. Chocolate and Maru persimmons do. Suruga is also much better than Fuyu/Jiro.


Ability to taste decreases with age so some of what we taste may be partly our imagination. Also stronger tastes may be more palatable.
I’m now drinking my coffee black. I would have spit it out when I was younger. First it was coffee with milk and sugar, then it was milk but less sugar, then no milk but some sugar, now just black. Some go the other way. More and more sugar or sprinkling salt on pizza. For me sugar masks other flavors so less sugar is OK with me while for others more sugar may make up for the lost ability to taste other flavors.

If someone mentions a hint of berry or oak or whatever in their wine I just think they are delusional. I can’t taste it but maybe they can if their taste buds are still in their prime.


Was shopping last week and the apples were $1.29 and $1.39 except for the Honeycrisp. They were $3.29!. That’s something to be impressed about.


Some of those people discussing flavors in wine are delusional (or inebriated) and there was even a study years ago showing that some were making things up, BUT, there really are complex flavors in wines (and other things) and what the really good tasters can detect are chemical compounds that may also predominate in some fruits. That doesn’t mean that a wine actually tastes like berries, but that there are flavors in berries that are rooted in certain chemical compounds and that similar chemical compounds can be found in some wines which remind tasters of berries.

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That is indeed the impressive thing - how much money people are making over a boring apple.

But it doesn’t make sense for someone with a more sensitive palate than yours to tell you what you need to like, so you can pretend to taste what you don’t for all the status it brings. And then there was the famous CA vs French wine taste-off with many of France’s most esteemed arbiters of wine taste at the time. They never could discern the quality of CA wines until subjected to a blind taste test that included French wines.

Being an arbiter of taste may be a good job if you can get it, but getting it is often more a matter of self esteem than actual talent, I guess.


to me hj and sc’s “screen names” were not the best marketing ploy. People will instinctively expect too much of them considering their names, and if not impressed, they’d conclude that if the fruits bearing these sugary names aren’t really special, then any other juju with a less fancy name will be radically inferior, which isn’t true.

same here, lol!
and from what noticed, kids love hj and sc jujus more for the same reason. Those jujus register 30+ brix quite often, but the better flavored ones seem to hover around high 20’s, or even mid 20(chico)

going back to topic, tastes do change with time. I was shunning spicy food as a child, and couldn’t even stand the smell of sauteed garlic, but now could eat them every day, and even eat garlic like candy.
durian was something i detested as a kid, but now something could eat and will even go out of my way to seek out. Worse is that i seem to be craving it more now than i used to!

alcohol is the only thing have yet to learn ingest, even though vodka smells absolutely divine. I can perfume our house with vodka but won’t put it in my mouth, whereas i could eat 5 lbs of durian in one sitting whilst wishing the smell doesn’t linger too long in the kitchen…


Here is my fruit plates. I think most of these are your favorite.



Thank you it’s nice to know I’ve been right all along. Funny thing is these two have been highly recommended for yrs. Now we’re told they’re just sweet. Sweet cardboard has been my description.

I can’t sell jujube fruit around here except to Asians. Most people don’t want them if free. And I’m in some of the best growing conditions in the USA.

Don’t just listen to me. These things have had decades to become main steam and I don’t see any signs of that.

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But normally those people with really sensitive palates aren’t telling anyone what to like. They’re describing what they taste… Some even have jobs tasting things. The ones who try to tell you what you should like are the folks in marketing.