Monday, February 1, 2010

What to eat in February

Your reports from the field have humbled me.

January's post, trying to describe what apple varieties might be available to you, was a mistake.

This whole monthly "What to eat" series seemed like a reasonable idea when I began last August and downright brilliant in September and October. New England is a grand place for apples in the fall.

But come winter, we New Englanders take our miserable places at the very back of the food queue. The produce-laden trucks come here dead last, and we get the leavin's.

Which as we saw comprise 16 different varieties of apples. This is not too shabby. But it's a poor place to stand when advising the rest of the apple-eating world about what is good to eat.

I've learned some things nonetheless--with your help.

My requests for reports from the field brought news of Winesaps, Jonamacs, and Romes for sale in Virginia, Cameos for sale in many places (including around here; I missed that), and Sierra Beauties on the West Coast. I was interested to learn that such Yankee staples as McIntosh, Cortland, and even Macoun are sold in Atlanta, though only in season.

The most impressive assortment by far was from Berkeley, California, where the Berkeley Bowl was selling 25 different varieties, including Jonathan, Spartan, Macoun, Winesap, and--to my astonishment--Arkansas Black.

Thank you for playing, O far-flung correspondents.

So here's the takeaway. Go to a market with a decent produce section. Find an apple you know and love, even if you haven't had one in a while. Then, also, try something new.

If these posts inspire that, I've done my job.

As for me, I'll continue to enjoy Macouns until they give out, probably in the next few weeks. I also welcome the return of yummy Piñata. Then I will probably follow my own advice above, pairing reliable Empires with whatever else looks good.


  1. Very nice. I'm going to have to go browsing - here in Miami, FL, fruit is as likely to be from the far south as from the far north. Have no idea what apple choices are making it to market here now.

  2. Hey, was just down in Mexico and Guatemala. Only apples I could find down there (obviously not local)were Red Delicious and Golden D. from WA state. Not too much of a surprise I guess.

  3. Welcome back, Chris!

    No, I don't imagine there are many apple choices in Central America this time of year. But doesn't Vista Bella do well in the highlands of Guatemala? (In season, I mean.) I though that's where it got its name.

  4. Yes Vista Bella I believe did get its name from the Guatemalan highlands. Didn't see them around in any of the markets though. From what I understand their apple season is similar to ours, ending in November. Better luck next time.


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