Monday, September 7, 2009

What to eat in September

September is a transition month. Some orchards don't grow any early apples. But by the end of the month high season is well underway.

Some of last month's picks are still in season. I was surprised to find some good Gravensteins at Nagog Hill Orchard yesterday, and there are Gingergolds and Zestars.

I also look forward to finding more Tydeman's, reviewed last week, and handsome, elegant Opalescent, one of my favorites from last September.

The big event of September, however, has to be the debut of Macintosh and Macoun, two magnificent apples with rival fan clubs. (You can compare them side by side and judge for yourself.)

So popular are these two varieties that orchards start selling them early, before they are fully ripe. These will be more tart, with less-developed flavors, than those picked a week or so later. So buy sparingly at first, or wait a little.

Finally, at the end of the month the exceptional, and hard-to-find, Cox's Orange Pippin will be ripe. Cox's is a good keeper that improves with a little storage, so you may want to wait until October to eat them. But buy them this month if you're lucky enough to find any.

Update: Add Jonamac to my short list of September picks. Grab some if you can!

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