Thursday, October 1, 2009

What to eat in October

October roars in like a pride of lions--at least in terms of the breadth of choice in what you can pick or buy at the orchard, farmstand, or farmers market. By Halloween, however, the riot of choices will have dwindled.

In the mean time, enjoy!

McIntosh and Macoun, king and queen of autumn, belong at the top of any list of apples to buy this month, at least in the Northeast. Indeed these beauties are at peak now, depending on where you live.

What are you waiting for?

Also towards the beginning of the month it is worth seeking out Cox's Orange Pippin, the more so if you have never had the pleasure. This variety is wonderfully complex and satisfying. Cox keeps well, and is said to improve with some time in storage, but their harvest is very soon--and they go fast.

October is a great month for heirlooms, keepers, and winter apples--which will be harvested today and eaten into the late fall and even the winter. It is an opportunity to try something old, if new to you, and a little different.

Along those lines, I will be seeking the doughty Blue Pearmain later this month. Try one yourself to experience Henry David Thoreau's favorite apple.

Finally, I look forward to any of the russets this month. These diminutive suede-jacketed fruits pack some great flavors and are great keepers. The Golden Russets were especially good last year.

As always, where you get your apples, and how they are been handled and stored, matters. Closer to the tree is generally better, although modern storage techniques allow even the fruit in your supermarket--sometimes--to be wonderfully fresh and crisp.

Have a great fall!

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