Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cider smackdown: pasteurized vs. raw

In the U.S., "cider" is sweet cider; fermented cider is called hard cider.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wickson vs. King David Smackdown

There's no compelling reason for today's side-by-side comparison.
Wickson (L) and King David (R) are both small apples

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

So long, and thanks for all the fruit

Kimball Farm slings the fruit in Davis Square earlier today in November's fading light.
Farmers market is done as of today.

In Davis Square, two growers had but five apple varieties to rub between them: Jonagold, Cortland, Brock, McIntosh, Empire, and Fuji.

Have a great winter! Farmers market resumes in June.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rusty Sweet

A bin of Rusty Sweet looks so much like a mass of Golden Delicious that I asked the seller if these were only a sport or variant of that variety.

No, she told me, they are something else.

This large elongated yellow apple, on closer inspection, is blockier and less conical than Golden D, though there is some taper. A little ribbing, too.

A small faint blush washes orange along with a few saturated red dots like spatters of paint. Lenticels are small and green, and the peel is satiny rather than glossy.

In hand Rusty is nice and solid with a sweet cider aroma. Its calyx is closed.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


The month of November is brought to you by the dark and lovely Arkansas Black.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sweetango (Sweet Tango, Minneiska) **

Sweetango's fame exceeds its availability, but I've finally got some promising examples.

This medium-sized apple is conical and slightly ribbed. The blush can be stunning, red saturated in streaks and tinged with orange. On some samples this darkens to whole solid sections.

Large brown lenticels are prominent on the glossy peel. The apple is firm to the squeeze and has a sweet cider-laced aroma.

What does it do in your mouth?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pound Sweet (Pumpkin Sweet)

Cooking apples, like Pound Sweet, are not necessarily good to eat. If so, that does not make them bad cooking apples.

Today's is a hefty one, though I can't vouch for its exact weight, name notwithstanding. 

I notice right away its extreme ribbing, which remind me of the excellent culinary variety, Calville Blanc d'Hiver.

Monday, November 12, 2012

No more apples this year

The trees at Red Apple Farm have been picked bare for weeks.
My personal subtitle for this photo is, No cider for me next June.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

King David **

I've got three small dark apples to try, classically shaped with a slightly ribbed taper. They are little bigger than crab apples.

The blush runs from a streaky red to a lustrous dark crimson. Unlike some deeply colored apples, the red of this blush has no purple tint.

The unblushed color, visible only in one small patch, is yellow tinted green. Small light lenticels are nearly impossible to see in the darker blush.

King David is solid in hand with a faint sweet cider aroma.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


This apples dates from a time of boastful apple names. Seek no further! Nonesuch! King of the Pippins!

These are small to medium with a faint blush, streaky pink over a muted chartreuse, and varying amounts of russet.

The net effect is layered and complex.

Though squat these are also a little conical. There's no ribbing to speak of; okay maybe a hint of some.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Red Apple Farm

In season, Red Apple Farm brings a wonderful assortment of apples to Lexington's Farmers Market on Tuesday afternoons (map).

Possibly, it's all from one tree.

Red Apple's home base, just off Route 2 in rural Phillipston, Massachusetts (map), is even better.

Like many orchards, Red Apple adds a lot of value for family visitors. Attractions include hay rides, barbecue, excellent cider donuts, cider slushies, a farm stand stocked with all sorts of apple and maple goodies, walking trails, and seasonal events.

Their assortment of fruit is really impressive, and they boast an apple tree that bears 108 different apple varieties courtesy of some crafty grafting.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fireside *

The thin orange-red blush that partially covers this large chartreuse apple includes some saturated red streaks and showcases many small light lenticels. (The lenticels are harder to see on the unblushed peel.)

I have two, round and slightly, but noticibly, ribbed. One is a little connical. Both have swaths and scars of russet, and there is a little flyspeck, visible at right on today's photo (click for close-up).

This apple is fresh from the orchard and, unbroken, has a sweet fragrance tinged with cider and banana.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Market contraction

Many area farmers markets close for the year in the week leading up to Halloween.
Arlington's farmers market took its curtain call yesterday, when 3 vendors offered 13 varieties of apples. Kimball Farm, above, sold 10 of them. Kimball will continue in Davis Square and some other locations through Thanksgiving.