Chefs and breeders team with researchers to produce better tasting vegetables

Katherine De Guzman – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Verona, WI, United States (4E) – Vegetables will soon taste better as the University of Wisconsin-Madison teams up with chefs and farmers to push the research further. This latest research looks to improve on creating varieties for consumers to choose from.

The university is one of the top three states in producing canned or frozen vegetables and this possible breakthrough will have a huge effect both on the farmers and chefs as foodies will soon indulge into these latest cravings.

Julie Dawson, who is leading the project as well as a horticulture professor, noted that they will be working with vegetable breeders, Madison chefs, and farmers to figure out what makes the vegetables taste great. If the breeders and farmers know what the chefs want, they will be able to produce it, thus increasing the production and the demand.

The chefs who are actively participating in the research will be receiving deliveries of produce every week. The chefs will have to evaluate the produce in terms of sweetness, texture, etc. With the results from the chefs, the researchers will forward it to the breeders then the breeders will ask farmers to produce easy-to-grow varieties of vegetables with different outstanding flavors.

Chef Dan Bonanno, from ‘A Pig in a Fur Coat’, stated that he has tested almost 80 different kinds of tomatoes from July this year. He said that the tomato, which was a sweet corn bred, was by far the best. The chef added that it had less sugary taste and a firmer texture. That certain bred of tomato was even better than the popular brands.

Bonanno explained that when he took a bite, it tasted like pear. He noted that it was naturally juicy and noted it would be great for making sauces or a gelato since it is already naturally sweet and contains butter.

Vegetable breeders seem pleased about these local food movements since it has created opportunities both for the farmers and for the organic farms.

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