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.

Here too is a buyer's guide to some of the Southern Hemisphere varieties (also grown in the North and many available year round). I hope these will arrive soon!

I did not expect in May to find a shipment of huge Piñatas in a local Stop-and-Shop supermarket, where I have never seen this variety before.

I was really surprised--and pleased--to find a local market selling Lady Alice at the end of the month.

The quality of these fruits was not perfect this late into the year (Lady, where were you in March?), but I was glad to have them.

I believe Piñata is still grown exclusively by Stemilt. The number of trees in production must have increased, since in previous years Piñata was done by March.

Alice, last year only available here for a single week, is similarly under exclusive license. Mine were at Pemberton's Market, an upscale food and garden store less than 2 miles from my house. You never know what you might find!

1 comment:

  1. Man, the north shore of Ma where I used to live from is very bleak in respect to these small speciality food stores. Consequently I never found the interesting things you do even in peak season. Maybe I wasn't looking, but I still think the closer to Boston the better for finding good apples/market produce in season. I'm glad I live in Maine where the farming part of the organic/local food movement is very prevalent. If only our retail market could be more widespread. We have many small local foodstores, but they are more profitable and prevalent near the coast.

    As we grow with our trees so too will the reach of our endeavors.

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