Monday, August 6, 2012

Green apples

The word on the street is that we're having another early harvest brought on by a warm spring.

But here it is August and every single local apple I have had so far has been unripe.

I'm still glad to have some of these, mostly, but I'd be gladder to have them ripe a week later.

Unripe apples are typically, but not always, sour, with a green flavor and sometimes pine notes. Some varieties are also spongey rather than crisp when picked too soon. No apple has all of its flavors when harvested early.

I suppose the pressure on farmers to pick early is strong. There are always fools like me ready to buy, and meanwhile leaving fruit on the tree just invites disaster in the form of hail or hurricane or pestilence. So, a bird in the hand.

Nonetheless last week when I saw Gravensteins for sale on August 1, I did not bite. These are one of the great summer apples and there is just no way they could be ready to eat that soon.

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