Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gravenstein **

Gravenstein, and its sporty red sibling, may be the most sophisticated of the early apples. It has a complex taste and there is a Gravenstein Apple Fair in Sebastopol California every August.

The medium-sized, modestly ribbed fruit is mostly green with a streaky red blush and tan spots.

Its white-green flesh is firm, crisp and juicy. The taste is a balanced tart-and-sweet, with spice and floral notes. There is a tiny bit of pine towards the finish.

Similar to a Red Gravenstein, but not as sweet.

The Gravenstein Apple Fair folks provide recipes, history, and other juicy stuff about the Gravenstein.

Gravenstein's growing season is short, or maybe growers around here just pick them all at once to meet demand. They came and went too fast, alas. But now the stage is set for September and the high-season apples.

8 comments:

  1. I live on the cape and my Gravensteins have allready started to be ripen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are great apples. Are yours really ready to eat?

      A grower from NH was selling some Gravs last week at Farmers Market. There is no way that they were ripe.

      Delete
  2. I have taken 3 off of the tree with a slight touch. One wasn't ripe, one was perfect and one was a little over ripe I think.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I live in Sebastopol, CA , famous for its Gravensteins. That photo seems very green to me. The classic Grav, at least in Sebastopol, is more yellow with quite dominant red stripes. The Red Grav tends to be even more red stripey. If you look at the photo that you have for Duchess of Oldenberg, that looks like Gravenstein from Sebastopol. With a similar German/Danish name and look, I wonder if Grav and Oldenberg are related?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dennis, I am sure this was a Grav (it was nothing like the Duchess) but in retrospect am also sure it was picked too early. The pine note is a dead givaway,

      In some ways my review of Red Gravenstein may be truer to type, sweeter and riper.

      Delete
  4. I've been growing Gravs for years, and I can confirm that apple is not at all what I consider ripe! Maybe some people like them that way for cooking, I don't know.

    In any event, Gravensteins are really not best as an eating apple, where they shine is as a cooking apple, or as a sauce apple or juice apple. To truly get the experience, you should try cooking one. If you want the pure apple taste as much as possible, peel it and sauce it with some brown sugar. To make a very small amount you can even do it in a bowl in the microwave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Anon, I have had the pleasure of many Gravensteins since I wrote the above description, and with that experience under my belt I think you are right about my sample being a little early (but not a lot).

      I hope you'll cut me some slack. Grav was one of the first varieties I wrote about in my blog and I did not know a whole lot!

      I still view it as one of the premiere eating apples of August.

      Delete
    2. You can have all the slack you want! I've greatly enjoyed finding your blog and am still going through it. Finding apple trees to recommend for my sister's new house, with different soil and a different climate has sent me on a deeper apple journey than I expected, and now I am wondering if I in fact want more apple trees.

      I'm in an odd apple tree place where I have more than I can use, but not yet so many that is economically viable to get the proper license to sell them, and a sloped lot which makes anything with ladders very difficult. But...they keep calling me.

      Delete