Monday, March 30, 2015

Study refutes apple-doctor relationship

"Evidence does not support that an apple a day keeps the doctor away," according to the abstract of a paper published on the web site of the Journal of the American Medical Association today.

Graph of apple health data

However, "the small fraction of US adults who eat an apple a day do appear to use fewer prescription medications."

That's according to the paper "Association Between Apple Consumption and Physician Visits: Appealing the Conventional Wisdom That an Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away" (JAMA Intern Med doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.5466).

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Kanzi (Nicoter)

Kanzi, which means "hidden treasure" in Swahili, is a modern breed from Belgium.

It is large but not huge, tapered and conical, a cheerful glossy yellow partially covered with an orange-tinged-red blush.

Small lenticels are only prominent in the lightly blushed regions, and the unblushed yellow has green highlights.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

In praise of rubbery apples

Rubbery beats mealy.

Most apples grow mealy after enough time in storage, or in poor storage, and who likes that? Some sooner than others, some more and some less.

Even staunch Arkansas Black starts to go a little granular by April.

Yet a few apples take a different tack as they age. Varieties like Gold Rush and Esopus Spitzenberg keep their crunch and grow distinctly elastic.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dan Bussey, appleist extraordinaire

I got nothin' today, so would like to share with you this linked interview with Dan Bussey from gardening writer Margaret Roach.

Bussey is producing an encyclopedia of some 16,000 apple varieties.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Government approves first GMO apples

Over objections from the apple industry, the U.S. government yesterday gave the green light to the first genetically engineered apples.

The gene-altered Arctic-brand apples are Granny Smith and Golden Delicious varieties that have been modified to resist browning when cut or bruised. Limited quantities could be brought to market as early as 2016.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Macoun vs. Rubyfrost smackdown

Today's head-to-head compares two apples, one well-established and the other very new, from one of the oldest large-scale apple-breeding program in the Americas.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A ruby in the frost

Rubyfrost, in some of the white stuff that we have so much of these days.
Just a year ago the only way I could sample Rubyfrost, a spanking new apple from the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, was to have a friend send one to me.

Yet there it was last week in my local supermarket. These apples are from the 2014 harvest, which is a rapid deployment to market outside of the Empire State.

So how does Rubyfrost hold up in storage? Pretty well!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Calibrating the stars

For the third February since I introduced my system of rating apples with stars (1, 2, or 3), I am making some adjustments.

I find it best to add and revise ratings once a year rather than continuously, and it give me something to do in the dark months.

Today is the astronomical heart of winter, exactly half way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Apples missing and missed

Notwithstanding my cheerful posts about the many apples you can still buy in January: In any given year there will be some varieties that are not available.


This year, for instance, Macoun is scarce and often disappointing if available. These grow in the Northeast, which had an uneven harvest this fall.

Last year this great apple was good to eat (and available) through late March.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Gradually, more January choices

Back in January of 2010 I found 16 different kinds of apples for sale in markets within 2 miles of my house.

Piñata (L) and Ambrosia
These included Piñata, then making its New England debut, and Ambrosia, which had done so the winter before.

Since then, growing sophistication about food in general and apples in particular has lured more choices into January markets. Some are new and others very old.