Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What to eat in March

Here in North America, unless you have some redoubtable Arkansas Blacks stashed away, March is the bleakest time of the apple year.

It's been five months since the harvest, and reenforcement won't arrive from the Southern hemisphere until April. The first local apple is still a season away, leaving most of us with the basic industrial apples from which to choose.

Fortunately those are still sound and sweet. My personal five favorites are after the break.

Jazz
Many similar apples compete at the market this time of year, very sweet, crisp, and dense. Jazz may be the best of this lot for its delicate floral-and-orange-juice flavors.
Empire
Crisp, vinous, and reasonably well balanced, Empire is most like the classical North-east varieties. Now that Macouns are ending, I'll probably eat a lot of these.
Granny Smith
In the world of sweet industrial apples, tart Granny is something completely different, with hints of pears in lime juice. Not for everyone, but I really appreciate Granny Smith this time of year. (And she's a great cooking apple any time.)
Pink Lady
The best of these are crisp and juicy, with hints of melon and orange juice. Next to Jazz at the head of the growing class of sweet year-round apples.
Golden Delicious
Honey, pear, and other interesting flavor notes elevate this easy-to-eat apple. A classic.

Those are my picks. Eat what you love.

4 comments:

  1. I have found the Cameo to be a really good keeper. It is a late season apple (at least in the Midwest) and I would keep some that I picked all the way to February, still crisp. I have seen them a few places, but I don't know how easy they are to find.

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  2. I don't know how ubiquitous they are, but Cameo's around in supermarkets.

    I bought this one in late March last year.

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  3. I just ate a Blushing Golden (!) that I found sitting in what must be the sweet spot of my refrigerator. I thought I'd finished the last of these a month ago.

    It was excellent, and a marvelous treat this time of year. So perhaps March isn't really so bleak, or at least needn't be with enough foresight and refrigeration.

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  4. I'll do my best to packrat everything I can for these lean months.

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