The Vista Bellas, still going strong this week, are joined at Farmers' Market by a second early apple, the Jersey Mac.
Jersey Mac is probably the best-known of the earlies, the name evoking the popular classic McIntosh. Not my favorite, but I picked one up to share here--hey, who loves ya?
How Mac-like is this Mac? Well, it's round and red. There is a moment when you take a bite that you can convince yourself it is going to taste like a McIntosh, though it doesn’t follow through. The texture is a little soft, like a Mac you would still eat but is past its prime. (But, this apple was fresh.)
The flavor is very mild, no acidity, pleasantly juicy with unmistakable apple flavor but none of the complexity of a high-season apple like the McIntosh. The skin is thick; you are still chewing on that after the flesh melts away. A slight refreshing astringency comes after the finish and lingers a bit.
The apple itself is classically round and the blush--not always as pronounced as in the photo, I picked a very red one--can be streaky in spots. The flesh is white and fine-grained, with blue highlights.
It turns brown fast once you break the skin.
I picked up a bunch more Vista Bellas--they are really good for this time of year. The variety of apples available has doubled in a week. So, hooray for choices!