I usually lean heavily on Macouns for as long as they last, but the crop was small this year. Empire can be reliable and I often find myself turning to them in April, May, and June.
But this winter I ate a lot of three varieties that previously were only available briefly. They are
- Opal, a new European variety that has just one North American grower
- The uneven, but superb when at best, Lady Alice
- Elusive Pacific Rose
Lady Alice needs to sit in storage until late March (at least) to be really good. For the second year in a row they've been for sale in February, and not so good.
Why won't the Rainier Fruit Company, the sole grower of this apple, just hold onto these until they are ready? The retailers are going to put the fruit out as available.
Does Rainer have something better to keep in their refrigerators in February? They'd sell more fruit if they waited.
On the plus side, production is up, and there are still some available now, and they are first rate.
Opal is new here this year and has just been great. I think I snagged the last of them yesterday though.
With a little help from a reader, I found some Pacific Rose a few weeks ago, filling a three-year void.
These were not quite as distinctive in either appearance or flavor as my 2010 examples, but I am still glad to have them. Their texture is first rate.
What have you been eating this winter?