Friday, July 30, 2010

Things to come

Apples ripening at Nagog Hill Orchard earlier today.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yellow Transparent

The first of these luminous beauties had been off the tree too long.

The second was picked too soon.

But the third was just right.

Yellow Transparent, an heirloom from Russia, is small with a pale yellow skin and green lenticels. These are slightly conical and slightly ribbed. Most of my tasting samples had a very faint pink tinge on the sun-kissed side. The overripe one (shown) bruised very easily.

At eating peak, the flesh is crisp, medium-coarse, and juicy. The flavor is tart, a sort of Granny Smith lite, with some lime and a little gingery spice. There's a hit of lemonade in the bites I took from the Calyx end of the fruit, and a faint suggestion of cream soda.

This light, lively apple serves up refreshing tastes with verve and snap. It's not overwhelmingly sour, but if sweet's your thing this might not be for you. I liked mine a lot.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Seasonal guide to apples

My impulse to post a monthly guide to apples then in season seemed brilliant in October, a bit desperate in June, but the year is now complete.

You can look them up by month here (or just see them all at once).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Apple journey

In the two years (to the day!) since I started Adam's Apples, I've had fun, learned a lot, met some people in the apple world, and enjoyed some wonderful fruit.

To most, this web site is a catalog. That's how I'd originally conceived it.

Some of you follow it in true blog style, checking up on the latest: I clink apples with you.

For me, this blog has also been a journey of growing appreciation and knowledge of apples.
Read more »

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Superlative Apples

Every year brings new discoveries.

Here are five "bests" that I enjoyed for the first time last year. Not best-ever, but best "new" tastes of the year.

I look forward to seeing them again.

Best summer apple: Pristine. A bright, light, tart little apple, available in August.

Best off-season: Picked in October but left to mature until March, Lady Alice is a crisp malt-sugar treat. Honorable mention: Pacific Rose.

Best surprise: Chestnut Crab Apple and Wickson (tie). These two little fruits bear big sophisticated tastes and hold their own with the finest varieties.

Best of the "trouble-free" apples: Liberty. A modern apple, bred not for sugar but for vigor and resistance to disease. Its vinous flavors have a old - New England quality.

Best heirloom: Winesap. legendary favorite with a spicy, savory palate.

Note: See my "bests" from last year.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Harbingers of an early harvest

The first apples have come early this year.

The wonderful fresh Vista Bella apples (right) usually come in the third or fourth week of July, though since the growing season is so early this year I thought we might see them sooner.

I was completely surprised however to see Lodi (left) at the Arlington's Farmers Market today. If Lodi they be--I scarcely recognize them. Their shape and size and color is not what I expect. They are usually small but today tower over the Vista Bella.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Big thaw

Here's what you do:
  1. Get a couple of half-gallons of sweet apple cider in season, from an orchard that presses its own.
  2. Put one of 'em in the back of your freezer and forget about it.
  3. The plastic jug will swell and, chances are, stuff will melt and re-freeze over it. Don't worry, it's still good.
  4. Wait until a summer heat wave and thaw.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Giant Gala apples

Researchers at Purdue university have discovered a giant Gala, a sport of the variety that is 15% larger than normal.

The fruits, dubbed Grand Gala by Peter Hirst and Anish Malladi, weigh 38% more.

As reported in Science Daily,

Larger apples tend to have more cells than their smaller counterparts, so Hirst theorized that there was a gene or genes that kept cell division turned on in Grand Gala. Instead, he found that Grand Gala had about the same number of cells as a regular Gala, but those cells were larger.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

What to eat in July

In my part of the world, the answer to this is blindingly simple.

In July, buy whatever you can, if it's local. And rejoice.

Usually, the first apples that are ready to eat here are Vista Bellas. Last year we had some Jersey Macs for sale on July 15. They were unripe but I found I preferred them that way.

This year, when the growing season has been so crazy, who knows?

Early apples do not keep, so buy them in small batches and eat them quickly.

You can also read my look back at July.