Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chocolate-flavored apple

Last night I reached into my now-tiny stash of apples from last fall and bit into my very last Topaz.

The apple was halfway to wrinkles but its texture was first rate, crisp and juicy. What really bowled me over was the distinct taste of chocolate, one of the last flavors I expect to find in any apple.

Understand, this was not Godiva-chocolate chocolate, or even Hershey-bar chocolate. More like Necco-wafer chocolate (exactly like, actually).

If you are not familiar with that New England delicacy, think cocoa powder + sugar with no milk or cocoa butter.

But first, about Topaz, a great crisp variety that I have already said should be commercialized into the off-season.

After nearly four months in the box Topaz is transformed. No longer so tart, its flavors are both blended and attenuated, allowing the unusual chocolate to emerge, very enjoyable.

Controlled-atmosphere storage would do a better job of keeping this apple and retaining its original flavors. My refrigerator-only example suggests that even after months in storage Topaz would still be a great eating apple.

I am thinking crisp and with interesting flavors that vary pleasingly from the narrow band of super-sweet varieties that have come to dominate the supermarkets in the off season. An off-season apple for the rest of us.

You can still get Necco Wafers in New England
Necco is the New England Confectionery Company and its wafers are hard crumbly candies akin to the tiny Valentines-Day candy hearts (another Necco invention) imprinted with such poetry as "Hot Stuff" and "B Mine."

In contrast to the full and creamy flavors of a chocolate bar, a chocolate Necco wafer's taste is thin and attenuated. It's still chocolate though. Chocoblog reviews them here.

At the end of my Topaz review I say this:

put some Topaz in cold storage (next to the Honeycrisps) and wheel them out in March, and we will eat them up.

And how! Pass the chocolate.

Update: Necco photo added 3/19/2012.

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