The first local apple of the year is a surprise and a revelation.
By July I am eating apples from Chile and New Zealand, and even they are out of season. Early apples are not usually very good--you wouldn't chose one like them in peak season--but they are unmistakably New England. The first bite promises delights to come.
Today's fruit, a Vista Bella, was the first and only only apple at Farmers Market. There are many types of summer apples, each of which have a short season. I won't be surprised if these are gone next week.
Vista Bella is pretty: brilliant green, like a Granny Smith or Pippin, with a deep red blush. The fruit is slightly ribbed, which adds to its overall attractiveness.
Bite it for a tart, crisp, and surprisingly firm mouthful of honest-to-gosh grown-here apple.
The flesh is snowy white shot with green highlights, and satisfyingly dense. For an early fruit these really are good.
Tartness aside, the flavor is mild and fruity, with hints of berries.*
Early apples don't keep long, even in the fridge, so I only got a few.
More about the Vista Bella here.
*Update: Further tasting yields a little more of VB's flavor.