Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fall's last hurrah

I saved out one last russet apple from the fall and ate it today, the last of June.

The apple was yielding in my hand, and its skin was wrinkled and smelled mossy. It looked like a little rotting pumpkin.

But the flesh was sound and the flavors were wonderfully sweet, wildly concentrated pear and honey like ice wine after the freeze.

What had seemed an unpromising idea for a blog post (written to you, dear reader) turned out to be, like so much else, a surprise and a treat.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Two great apple resources are merging

All About Apples of the U.S.A. and Orange Pippin of the U.K. are joining forces.

The two web sites will provide an online catalog of more than 600 varieties, tightly integrated with information about where each kind is grown, a tree registry, and other information.

The integrated content will be hosted at

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Do not adjust your set

These two apples from the past year really look this way:

These are, left to right, San Rosé and Rienette Simirenko (aka Woods Greening).

They do look distorted, don't they? Not what the eye expects. They are true photos though: the Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy of my collection.

I could tweak these images to make them look "normal." It would just require me to edit the html for this post and change four numbers.

But, that would be wrong.

Oh heck, I'll do it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Apples top pesticide list

Scott Kilman, writing in today's Wall Street Journal, put it this way:

The apple industry faces a potential public-relations headache in the wake of federal testing that found pesticide residues in 98% of America's second-most-popular fresh fruit, the highest rate among the produce screened by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a yearly survey. (More»)

These results prompted the nonprofit Environmental Working Group to recommend organic apples and to rate conventional apples as the worst of 12 most-contaminated fruits and vegetables. (Celery and strawberries are close behind; onions, sweet corn, and pineapple are the cleanest).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New ways to slice these apples

Blogger has invented some new ways to view this blog.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Apples of May (2011)

May is not a very distinguished month for apples, and this year's (despite a few surprises) was not a very distinguished May.

The local harvest is a distant memory, and for whatever reason the usual flood of apples from Chile and New Zealand is still but a trickle. I've come to take these apples for granted; their grown-in-the-USA alternatives are a bit long in the tooth this time of year.

If you are hungry for an apple in May (or any time in the off-season, really), check out my picks of the best supermarket alternatives. If you really miss Fall's bounty, console yourself with this guide to the off-season choices based on your harvest-season favorites.