Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Apples of November (2010)

The local apple season starts with a thin trickle in July and slowly builds to its October climax.

In November things drop off the edge of a cliff.

This year the end of the harvest felt particularly abrupt. At those few farmers markets that continue past Halloween, pickings were slim compared to last year, when you could buy Blushing Goldens the day before Thanksgiving.

I chalk this up to the vagaries of the harvest, from this year's odd Spring to Fall's windstorms. I wonder how long the Macouns will last in supermarkets this winter.

Treasures were few this month, and if you are reading this wondering what to buy in some future November I refer you to the guide I wrote last year.

I did get some wonderful unpasturized sweet cider from Phil's, a blend of Enterprise and Cortland. It was the best I've ever tasted.

The local Whole Foods had some heirlooms from a farm in Vermont. These were indifferently labeled and sometimes the worse for wear, but still rewarding.

The apples sold as Blue Pearmain were clearly no such things when I bought one in late October, but when I ate it a month later it was excellent and probably a Cox's Orange Pippin. I wish I'd gotten a few more!

At the close of this November my store of keepers, mostly Blushing Goldens and russets, seems thin. I'll eat them in December, then hope for decent choices at supermarkets.

Click here for my November buyers' guide from 2009.

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