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Why did my carrots and parnips from my allotment taste bitter



Although temperature conditions (cold, followed by warmth, followed by cold) can produce poor flavours, and neither vegetable is at its best when it is old and tough, I think the most likely cause is carrot root fly problems. The carrot fly affects both vegetables.

The following quote from the Acta horticulture site gives more possible explanations:

"Bitter taste and turpentine-like taste are undesirable in production of Umbelliferous crops. Carrots with bitter taste can contain large amounts of 6-methoxymellein or isocumarin or 3-methyl-6-methoxy-8-hydroxy-3,4-dihydro-isocumarin. Many different terpenes in carrot cause turpentine-like taste. Usually terpenes give a desirable taste to carrots, but in high concentrations can give undesirable taste. Factors influencing undesirable taste include genetics, growing conditions, diseases and insects, post-harvest handling and storage atmosphere."

Just try again this year and you will probably find that both vegetables will be fine.

8 Mar, 2010

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