Asked August 31, 2020, 8:53 PM EDT

This is out of your norm, but no doubt you can help. Today I purchased some blackberries from a regional grocery chain. They looked normal, felt normal (in mouth), but not taste. I sampled 8 and all were very sour/bitter. Never had this happen with any berry in my many decades. Any idea what can eliminate sweetness from a ripe blackberry? Perhaps application of some kind of chemical to ground or foliage?

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Hi- the same thing frequently occurs in gardens and farms and is not caused by pesticide applications. Blackberry fruits contain a range of flavoring compounds and a host of environmental factors (singly or in concert) can cause fully-colored berries to have a bland, sour, or bitter flavor. These include excessive soil moisture, extended overcast weather, loss of foliar cover, plant diseases and pests, low soil fertility, and premature harvesting. Blackberries are very perishable and best when purchased from local growers.