Saturday, September 22, 2018

Rich September

I am used to thinking of September as a kind of calm-before-the-storm hiatus of the fall parade of apples.

Wooden bins full of different kinds of apples

Today however I counted 17 different varieties at farmers market, including Ribston Pippin, Ashmead's Kernel, Wickson, and Westfield Seek-No-Further.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Zestar versus Elstar Smackdown Compare

Two partially blushed apples

Two modern August apples, crisp and sweet. Zestar (L)—sometimes "Zest Star"—from Minnesota, and Elstar, from the Netherlands.

So, it's 'Star vs. 'Star. Which is best?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Fancy a nice stale apple?

A wrinkled apple
Not this guy.
It's almost fall, so perhaps you are thinking about biting into an apple that has been lying around in storage for the last 12 months.

No? This time of year there's a good chance that the McIntoshs or Honeycrisps for sale at your supermarket are from last year's harvest.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Summer cornicopia

I am used to thinking of the early harvest as a sort of wasteland. A niche for a canny apple breeder to fill (though not, if you please, with another Honeycrisp wannabe).

Wooden bins of 4 early apples at farmers market

Yet by Labor Day I had already enjoyed 10 fresh local varieties.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Zestar versus Paula Red smackdown

Two apples side by side

This amiable paring came about by accident.

The two apples are both ripe in August but are very different. One is a sweet modern apple and the other is probably the best early Mac-style pick.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Apple of the Week: Chestnut Crab

A pile of small piebald apples, red, olive, and russet colors

Do I cook with these? a woman asked me at Farmers Market.

I told her they were great eating apples, but I don't think she believed me. Misled by the size and by the myth of sour crabs.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Apple of the Week: Gravenstein

Two streaky apples, red over spring green
Gravenstein is the Macoun of August.

These are not quite at peak where I live, but still worth seeking out.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Forever sugar

It's August already and we are up to the very fine Gravensteins.

Well into the harvest.

Personally I am not looking back, but it just hit me that today it is possible to eat super sweet varieties all year round and never have the joy of tart local fruit.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Goodby, Willams Pride

Get out your tiny violins.

A dark red apple with tan speckles

My sole source for Williams Pride, one of my favorite August apples, has none this year and will be pulling the trees down to grow something else.

The apples are susceptible to bitter pit and just too ornery to grow.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Apple of the Week: Pristine

Two light green apples, one with a small faint pink blush
Eat us now!
The best of the super earlies, crisp and lively Pristine has snap and sophistication.

They are ripe now, so what are you waiting for?

Monday, July 23, 2018

10 Years of Adam's Apples

Ten years ago today, in my very first blog post, I said,

Neither a farmer nor a gourmet, I can't promise technical explanations or rarefied flights of fancy.

Still, there is a rich variety of apples still available here in New England, including many heirlooms.

If you don't know these apples, prepare to be amazed.

Maybe there has been a rarified flight of fancy or two. Still, my best work here is when the prose gets out of the way and the apples speak.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

And so it begins

A tapered green apple on a rock

Perhaps not the best apple of all time, but the event it heralds has no match in the calendar of fruit.

The above Lodi apple is the first of the 2018 apple harvest.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Fraud gallery

In the last few years we've seen some new faces on the supermarket shelves.

Kiku is sweet and crisp and juicy. Mahana Red is crisp and juicy and sweet.

Kiku apple
Mahana Red apple
Mahana Red