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.


  1. Pristine is probably my favorite for eating fresh. I started picking Pristine at Purdue on Friday. It's about two weeks early.

  2. Maybe you could have an annual supreme award... "The Golden Apple"?

  3. @Anna, it must be great to live near Purdue's orchards (where Pristine and so many other varieties were developed).

    @kiwi, "best of" lists are lots of fun, but I'd feel like an awful fraud anointing THE best each year. Somehow that's...above my pay grade. Or something.

    Besides, I like variety.

    (Wouldn't say no to a Winesap today, though.)


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