Tag Archives: Climate

Green Oranges Taste Orange

Oranges play a funny trick when they grow up in warm climates.

Many fruits start out green, but Oranges will ripen without turning orange in warm climates. They need a little cold crisp air at night to change color.

This is why oranges in Florida & Texas are usually used for juicing, whereas California oranges—which get a natural chill at night—are sold whole in stores.

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Florida Makes Green Oranges

Florida boasts a booming orange juice industry, and they have Christopher Columbus to thank for it. Oranges originated in ancient China when a hybrid tree was born from grapefruit and mandarins.

Columbus introduced sweet oranges to the Carribean on his second voyage to the New World in 1493. Orange trees readily took to the Carribean climate, except their farmers were baffled when the fruit ripened, but the skin of the oranges actually stayed green!

What they did not know at the time is that in climates with cooler nighttime temperatures oranges turn orange. In climates with lots of heat day & night (like the subtropical Carribean) the fruit will ripen and taste sweet, but the color of the rind will remain green!

This is why you see orange juice from Florida, whereas most of the whole oranges we find in supermarkets come from California. The off-color fruit from Florida readily turns into tasty orange juice without weirding anyone out.

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Johnnie Walker is the World’s Most Popular Blended Scotch…and that’s OK!

People like to look down their noses at blended scotch, because Hollywood leads us to believe that drinking blended scotch is like drinking scotch with training wheels.

In reality, blending scotch allows distillers to offer a product that will be more consistent over time. Single-malt scotches are subject to variations in flavor that stem from variations in the climate & skill of the distiller.

Johnnie Walker is the most sold blended Scotch in the world.

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Washington Grows Nearly All of America’s Hops

As we touched on recently Hops growers thrived through Prohibition, because WWI had decimated the the hops-growing infrastructure throughout Europe. During this time farmland dedicated to Hops began to spread.

As it turns out Hops are particularly fond of the climate and soil conditions of the Pacific Northwest. Yakima Valley, WA contains 75% of total Hop-acreage in America.

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Grapes Nearly Went Extinct

Over the eons the flux of nature’s climactic patterns have simultaneously eliminated and empowered different species. The rise of mammals is attributed to same conditions that choked the dinosaurs into history.

The last ice age nearly left the human race without wine—as most of the grape’s original habitat was blanketed in ice. This would have driven the plant into extinction.


Barley Weather

Since Barley is an incredibly important ingredient for making beer & whiskey, it stands to reason that making Barley amounts to an incredibly scrutinized science.

Barley likes to hide from the sun under a blanket of moisture—which means that climates with consistently cool and cloudy conditions yield grain with the highest levels of starch; and starch = alcohol.

Scotland’s climate provides ideal conditions for growing top-rate whiskey-makin’ Barley: cold, wet, humid, gross summers that feel a lot like their winters, too.


Atmospheres’ Share

Yesterday, I mentioned a phenomenon called the Angels’ Share—that when you age whiskey some of it evaporates over time. Well apparently not only the rate at which the liquid disappears is variable (1.5% – 12.0% annually depending on climatic warmth) but more over the type of liquid that evaporates varies as well…

In humid climates more alcohol evaporates from alcohol casks. In arid climates more water evaporates from alcohol casks.

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