Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Reflections on 7 years of apple writing

Adam's Apples' first apple harvest began 7 Julys ago.

It was easy. I could count on finding a "new" variety to review every week, usually several.

The reviews are still the heart of this blog, though new varieties are harder to come by.

Now, on the cusp of my eighth apple crop, I have no big changes in the works, nothing really new up my sleeve for this blog.

But I do have some second thoughts about the way I wrote those reviews. And I am planning to make some changes.

The 200-plus apple write-ups to date have a predictable chronological structure that parallels, more or less, my own exploration of each fruit.

Each review starts by describing the exterior (complete with photo). Then comes the bite and the texture, taste, and other qualities of the apple's flesh.

Only when I've cataloged all the flavors I can find and recorded my personal impressions of the apple do I try to learn about its origins and history.

In this way each review not only describes an apple, it shares my subjective discovery of it step by step.

This process is of special interest to me, and sometimes (I hope) to others, but I think it can be dull.

It's also a virtue that you can use my reviews to compare apples point by point, color-size-shape-aroma-texture-flesh-flavors.

On the other hand, lock-step repetition can be numbing.

So this year I will be playing with the format and breaking the parallelism that has characterized my catalog of apples.

At least for those varieties that I am able to review for the first time. Let's hope I can find some!

Obligatory anniversary link: If you are feeling nostalgic, walk with me though the first days of Adam's Apples, in chronological order, oldest writing first.


  1. Thanks for running the blog Adam; it is an invaluable resource for apple lovers and growers. Looking forward to following your new directions on the writeups.

    If you are still doing this in a few years, there is a small chance I could supply a few apples you have not had yet, from my micro-orchard in my yard in Somerville.

    1. Holly, exotic AND local, how can I say no to that?

      Just let me know when they are all grown up and ripe. And thanks!

  2. I can't imagine finding even half of the varieties you have tried, so I'm not surprised that it's getting harder to encounter new ones. I have one variety that you haven't reviewed, but as you've noted before more than once, the same type of apple can vary based on stage of ripeness and other factors. Red delicious has tricked me more than once--I get a good one and think I might have been too critical in the past, then reality hits when I try more. But in any case, there's benefit in writing about differences and similarities in apples you've reviewed previously. I hope the harvest in your area is good this year.

    1. @Nothern GA: I'll bet you could find as many apples over 7 years if you were a tad fanatical about it.

      They'd be different varieties than mine, too.

  3. Thanks for doing this Adam. I haven't really found any blogs like yours. It's easy to find a general description of a lot of varieties, but for the more obscure varieties, it's common to see the same description repeated over and over from site to site. Your first hand account in experiencing these apples is a useful tool for the taster to determine what apples they should try, and for the grower to decide what varieties they'd like to plant. I'm currently in the first group and hoping to join the second, and I will definitely be referring to your descriptions often. Thank you!

  4. Replies
    1. Mike, as I think you know it has been a real pleasure.


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