Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Consistency: Beyond taste and texture

There are many dimensions of apple quality beyond the obvious color, taste, and texture.

One might want to know, is this apple a good keeper? Does it excel for baking? If you cut it into cubes or slices will it retain its color or turn brown?

One less-obvious dimension of quality that I have been thinking about a lot this year is, for lack of a better word, consistency (or reliability). Namely, how likely it is that an apple will be as good as it usually is.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Heterozygous

Sow Carolina Gold rice and you'll generally grow Carolina Gold, the same as the parent. You can save some for seed if you like.

Sow seeds from a Honeycrisp apple and, with a little sun and rain, you'll grow apple trees, but not Honeycrisps.

Unlike rice, apples do not breed true; apple varieties must be propagated by grafting scionwood onto rootstock.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Apples in winter

The Somerville (Mass.) Armory
Behind this fantastic urban facade is a winter farmers market that sells apples.

Inside is a lively scene that includes produce, baked goods, and a cafe.

The market is open on Saturdays from 9:30 until 2 at the old armory on Highland Avenue in Somerville (map).

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New years greetings to you

You sent me fruit! Thanks so much for everything.
Twenty thirteen was a good year for apples and for my blog, still going strong long after the conclusion of what was going to be just a single year.

One quality that has accumulated over that time is my gratitude for your readership and comments, often the best thing going here. I've learned a lot from you.

My writing is sometimes hit and sometimes miss, but my best columns are those that spark a conversation.