Heat and Drought on Produce

The heat and drought across the upper Midwest have taken a toll on corn and soybeans, but the weather has helped make other vegetables more flavorful.  Plants such as hot peppers do well in hot, dry weather, and some plants contain less water now. That concentrates their flavor, leading to peppers that carry an extra-spicy kick.  Several other fruits and vegetables experience the same phenomenon. Cindy Chapman, of East Troy, says her farm's radishes have been so potent that some customers don't want them. Others have raved about the added spice.  The weather also has caused some melons to become sweeter because of a higher sugar concentration.  Milwaukee chef Dan Jacobs says some jalapeño peppers have become so powerful that he has to be careful how he serves them.

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