Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Day, with apples

Since starting this experiment seven months ago, I have written eighty-one posts about apples, forty-seven of which are tasting reviews of unique varieties.

I've been visited by people from France, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Michigan, who found my blog googling their favorite apple varieties. Indeed one of the surprises has been how quickly my blog achieved a Google page rank sufficient to be among the first ten links found by such searches. (It seems to have slipped in recent weeks.)

The whole thing has been much more fun than I expected. My original goal was to "blog what you love" for a year. I also wanted to experience this medium first hand.

It's been very freeing for me to write so extensively about such a narrow topic, with effects that have spilled over to my professional work as an editor. The discipline of trying to describe the variety, pleasure, and the beauty of these fruits in what I hope is a lively way has been challenging and has changed the way I use the internet and eat an apple.

An introspective post like this flirts with boredom and I do not plan many. I'm still having fun though and hope you are too. I will certainly continue until the start of the 2009 apple season if only to discover what there will be to write about off season. (I do have unposted reviews of three interesting varieties, and will also be tasting popular apples such as Granny Smith and Fuji that I have thus far skipped over because they are available off season.)


  1. Boy oh boy, I wish I were in your shoes! I'm in the "why didn't I think of that" doldrums!

    I grow 140 apple trees, some varieties you commented on, and I have 80 Campbell Red Delicious coming in January of 08, and 50 Coe Fuji coming in February. Active duty soldier, but part time hobby farmer on the side! imagine that...

    If you have the opportunity, would you be so kind as to seek these out and post a review? I am worried the Campbell, while disease resistant, may not be a fireball of taste...

    The Coe Fuji is supposed to take longer to ripen, therefore having more time to turn red in my warm south carolina climate.


  2. Andrew, I'm the one who should be jealous of you, with your own orchard! 140 trees must keep you busy, soldier.

    I am flattered by your commission to me to try these varieties, but alas this time of year in New England (and I suspect elsewhere too) choices are limited.

    There are Red Delicious and Fuji in the supermarkets, from Washington State this time of year and from Chile and New Zealand in the spring, but I gather that the Campbell's are something special and probably the Coe Fuji is too.

    There's just no substitute for living near an orchard if you want to know what you're eating. Those generic Fujis in the supermarket could be anything.

    I will keep my eyes and mouth open. And Andrew, if you'd like to review some of your own when you harvest them I'd be pleased to post your thoughts here. I suppose it will be quite a few years before the Campbell or Coe bear fruit, but if you have anything else you can be a guest reviewer if you'd like!

    Good luck with the trees, Adam

  3. I'm amazed and impressed that there are so many apple varieties to about which to write. I've wondered if you'd run out of apples at some point. I imagined that if you ran out of apples to write about then perhaps you'd write more about the trees, their flowers, the creatures that pollinate them.

    Not really anonymously yours,


  4. Nina, I think there are probably more varieties than anyone could eat! The challenge I feel is to write about each in a way that might let a reader compare different varieties, but in an interesting way that is not repetitive.

    So, I need to write about the same things--appearance, flavor, texture--and in generally parallel ways. But at the same time I'd like it to be possible for someone to read, say, a dozen reviews without having his or her eyes glaze over.

    I know some of my postings are more successful than others in that respect, and I'm not going to get it right every time. But that is the creative tension for me.


Join the conversation! We'd love to know what you think.