Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Superlative Apples

Looking back--or ahead--at some highlights of the season. These are a few of the apples I look forward to eating in the year to come.

Best Early Apple: Red Gravenstein. Available in August, this apple has some sophisticated flavors. Honorable Mention: Yellow Transparent, Zestar.

Best New England Apple: Macoun, hands down. Very honorable mention: McIntosh.

Best Old-Fashioned Apple: The superb Cox's Orange Pippin. Honorable mention: Ashmead's Kernel, a russet.

Most Unusual: Arkansas Black, without a doubt.

Best Newcomer: Piñata. Honorable mention: Ambrosia

Best Supermarket Apple: They are a localvore's nightmare, stored for months in high-tech facilities and/or flown halfway around the world, but thank goodness for them in the off season. My favorite this year was Jazz. Honorable mention: Granny Smith.

Miss Congeniality: I am grateful for Empire's many qualities and near-year-round availability (at least in the Northeast--does anyone else see these?). I probably ate more Empires this year than any other variety. This year I'll have to be sure to sample a few straight off the tree. (Update: I did.)

PS: This is not a wrap! I have at least one more variety left to review before the 2009 harvest begins at the end of July.

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