The drought impacting many agricultural areas in the U.S. may give certain fruits and vegetables a more intense flavor.
Due to the drought, certain fruits and vegetables, like peppers, onions, garlic, beets, tomatoes, peaches and melons, will grow with a lower-than-usual water content. The produce may be smaller, but the flavor is bigger.
In the case of chili peppers, this may bring unusual problems for restaurant chefs. Chili pepper hotness comes from the alkaloid capsaicin. Capsaicin binds to the heat receptors of the tongue causing the sensation of hot or spicy. When chili peppers grow with lower water levels, they produce more capsaicin and the pepper will taste hotter. When cooking with the hotter pepper, chefs may have to use less of the pepper to get the same degree of spice normally in the dish, according to Healthland.time.com.
On the opposite end of the taste spectrum, a watermelon's flavor is also affected by the water content. A low-water intake causes watermelon plants to become stressed. The stressed plant increases sugar production in response. A watermelon crop impacted by a lot of heat early in the growing cycle will taste sweeter, but the yield of the crop is diminished and the individual watermelons are usually smaller than average.
This picture of chili peppers hanging up to dry is courtesy of photos.com.
Greg Smith, owner of Smith Farms in Rocky Ford, Colo., has noticed an added sweetness in their cantaloupes. "Our cantaloupes are normally sweet, but they are especially sweet this year," Smith said.
Smith also commented on the weather's role in the growth of produce on the farm.
"The cantaloupe crop has been good, but the tomatoes are down, the watermelons are down, too," he said. "The temperatures this summer have been fierce. Temperatures have been 105, 107 and even 110. The high temperatures coupled with low rainfall hurt the production."
Smith's land is irrigated with water from the Arkansas River. The flow of water depends on snowmelt runoff from the Rocky Mountains. Smith said the low snow pack on the mountain is not providing the amount of water he normally gets.
In a normal growing season, Smith usually farms close to 100 acres of land. The drought this year has only allowed Smith to farm about half of his land.
If you love cantaloupe, be sure to visit one of the Smith Farm's Farmers Markets for some of the sweetest cantaloupe in the western U.S.
A multi-vehicle accident involving 20 to 30 vehicles occurred amid snow showers and brutal cold, led to the shutdown of Interstate 78 in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, Saturday morning.
The coldest air of the winter will plunge southward across much of the eastern United States and will feature single-digit and sub-zero temperatures in the Northeast during Valentine's Day weekend.
The dangerous cold gripping the eastern United States will set the stage for disruptive snow and ice to unfold from Tennessee and Georgia to Maine Presidents Day into Tuesday.
Voters heading out to the polls on Saturday, Feb. 20, can expect mild weather and dry conditions for the next step in the 2016 Presidential Election.
Heavy rain will raise the risk of flooding across more than a dozen states in the Southeast on Presidents Day to the East Coast on Tuesday.
Umbrellas will be needed on Valentine's Day as scattered showers overspread Germany.
North Dakota (1936)
On this date the mercury plummeted to -60 deg. at Parshall, ND - the coldest temperature ever for the State of ND. Later the same year, the mercury soared to 121 degrees at Steele, ND - the hottest temperature ever for the state of ND.
Eastern US (1981)
All time high pressure reading were set: Asheville, NC 30.84 inches; Wilmington, DE 30.99 inches; Baltimore, MD 30.97 inches; Scranton, PA 30.96 inches; Louisville, KY 30.99 inches; Washington, D.C. 31.02 inches; Hartford, CT 31.03 inches; Allentown, PA 31.03 inches; Philadelphia, PA 3 inches.
Eastern US (1985)
Great Ohio Valley snowstorm whips snow into mountainous drifts and strands hundreds. In southwest Ohio 10 plows were stuck in the drifting snow and abandoned. Over a foot of snow in central and eastern Kentucky with 10 - 15 ft. drifts. Over 2 inches of snow in most of North Carolina.