Flavor Blast

How the drought is changing the taste of your produce

Scorching temperatures and too few rain showers are baking America's heartland. And while no farmer would ever wish for those conditions, this year's drought has at least one perk: growers of everything from beets to watermelon are reporting that flavors have intensified, since hot weather hastens maturity and builds higher levels of sugars and other key compounds. "Everyone is after the perfect peach," says Theresa High, owner and manager of High Country Orchards in Palisade, Colo. "And I think they found it this year."

On a local level, farmers can tout their flavorful produce to increase consumer demand. "It can be...

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