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bookluvingbabe

Apples

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So I made a special trek out to the apple farm (nameless because I'm going to whine...) to buy my beloved Jonathan apples this past weekend. I always go the second Saturday of September and buy enough to get me through November.

Got them home and eagerly tried one. Awful! Hard, tart and generally impossible to eat.

Okay--maybe one of those other yucky apples got mixed in. I'll wait and try another before I get nervous.

Nope. Sitting on my desk is another inedible apple.

I called the farm to ask if it was possible the apples had been mislabeled. Unlikely. They only had Jonathan and Galas this past weekend and there is no way on earth this was a Gala. Most likely it's the dry season.

So what is a broken-hearted midwestern gal supposed to do with a peck of inedible apples?

I see lots of applesauce in my future.

Sigh...

Jennifer

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Got them home and eagerly tried one.  Awful!  Hard, tart and generally impossible to eat.

That's why you bring children with you. They eat their weight in fruit while at the farm, so you know instantly if the produce is worth taking home.

:lol:

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While we're on apples, download this PDF cookbook on apples from the chef at Lampreia in Seattle. Very cool stuff. I made the Balzano Apple Cake a couple times last year and it's really, really good.

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Lately, I have been missing a piece of my old home in Taiwan and was wondering if anyone knows of a place to buy Water/Wax Apples? I think I want to grow a mini-version...

In other apple news, the Local Market in Falls Church sells a variety called Ambrosia that has been very crunchy and sweet.

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Is there a better variety of apple generally available in the store right now than Honeycrisp? I am ridiculously addicted.

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^ The Sonia variety from New Zealand is also sweet and crunchy. I liked the ones sold at WFs but the HT ones will do in a pinch.

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Rowan Jacobsen, the Beard Award-winning author of interesting recent books about the collapse of the honey bee and the Geography of Oysters, will have a new (as of yet untitled) "bestiary of apples" out late next year. A new article from Mother Jones excerpts that work and is attached below. Unlike other recent great books on tomatoes and OJ, this article isn't as much scientific or political as it is historical. I'm guessing many here will find it as fascinating as I did. It really had me thinking this morning as I worked my way through two popular farmers' markets and saw all the familiar varieties (honeycrisp, fuji, gala, etc.) we see everywhere.

It wasn't always that way. And, thanks to heroes like John Bunker of Maine, it doesn't have to be that way in the future.

Apologies that I've attached this as three separate files. The first, while a bit fuzzy, is still fully legible. Collectively, the three comprise the five page article and I had to condense them a bit to be small enough for uploading here.

forgottenfruit1st2.a.pdf + forgottenfruit2nd2.a.pdf + forgottenfruitfinal2.a.pdf

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Good stuff! Even going to farmers markets you see the same few varieties over and over again. To get the really "weird" stuff you have to grow your own or know someone who does. Check out this list of apples from a guy I "know" (electronically) in Maryland:

Apples
**Abbondanza, Adams Pearmain, *Akane, Allens Everlasting, American Golden Russet, American Summer Pearmain, Apricot, Aromatic Russet, Ashmead's Kernel, ©Bedan, Belle Fille, Belle Fleur Rouge, Belle Fleur de France, Belle de Boskoop, Belle de Pontoise, Berner Rosen, Beverly Hills, ©Binet Blanc Dore, Black (Cherryville strain), *Blenheim Orange, Bonne Hotture, Bramley's Seedling, Brownlees Russet, ©C'Huero Ru Bienn, Calville Blanc d'Hiver, Calville Rouge, Calville Rouge d'Automne, Canada Red, Canada Reinette, Carmeliter Reinette, Cartigny, Catherine, Chenango Strawberry, Chestnut, Claygate Pearmain, ©Clozette, Cockle Pippin, Cornish Gilliflower, Court Pendu Gris, Court Pendu Plat, Cox's Orange Pippin, Crollon, De L'Estre, Doctor Mathews, Double Bon Pommier, ©Doux Normandie, Dutch Mignonne, Early Joe, *Egremont Russett, Ellisons Orange, Esopus Spitzerberg, Fall Pippin, Fameuse, ©Frequin Rouge, **Freyburg, ©**Fuero Rous, Fuji (Nagano), Garden Royal, Ginger Gold, Golden Noble, *Golden Nugget, Golden Russett, **Goldrush, *Gravenstein, Grimes Golden, Hampshire Red, ©Harrison, Hawaii, *Hewes Crab, Holstein, Honeycrisp, Horneburger Pfannkuchen, Hubbardston Nonesuch, Hudson's Golden Gem, Hunge, Ingrid Marie, Jefferis, Karmijn de Sonneville, Kerr, Kidd's Orange Red, King David, Lady Sweet, Lamb Abbey Pearmain, Laxtons Fortune, Magnum Bonum, Maigold, Margil, ©*Marie Menard, ©Marin Onfroy, ©Maunerbe, ©Medaille d'Or, Melon, Mettais, Missouri Pippin, Mother, ©Muscadet de Dieppe, Mutsu, My Jewel, Myers Royal Limbertwig, NY460 aka Millenium, Native Crab, *Newtown Pippin, Newtown Spitzenburg, October Gravenstein, *Old Nonpareil, Oliver, Orleans Reinette, Peck's Pleasant, Pigeonnet Rouge, *Pink Lady, Pitmaston Pineapple, Pomme Gris, Pomme Raisin, Pristine, Queen Cox, Rambour d'Automne, Rambour d'Hiver, Razor Russet, Red Berlepsch, **Reine des Reinettes, Reinette Clochard, Reinette Gris Parmentier, Reinette Gris du Canada, Reinette d'Armorique, Reinette de Cuzy, Reinette du Mans, Ribston Pippin, Roxbury Russett, Rubinette, *Rusty Coat, ©Saint Martin, Sam Young, Shizuka, Sierra Beauty, Signe Tillisch, Smokehouse, Spigold, St. Edmunds Pippin, Steele's Red, Summer Queen, Suncrest, Suncrisp, Sundowner, Suntan, Swaar, Swayzie, Swiss Orange, Tolman Sweet, Transcendent, Transparent Croncels, Tumanga, Tydemans Late Orange, Vanilla Pippin, Viking, Wagener, Waltana, Weisse Winter Tafel Apfel, Westfield SNF, **White Winter Pearmain, Whitney, *%Wickson, Williams Pride, Winesap, Worcester Pearmain, Yellow Bellflower, Young American, Zestar.

The apples above prefixed by "©" are European cider apples; their original climate is more cool than mine and I have found that I get little of the needed tannins from them in my climate. Two cider apples which I have found produce good tannins in hotter climates are Fuero Rous and Marie Menard. Since there are so many apple varieties I am being very picky on recommended ones; many of the non-*'d ones are good but are not sure winners to me yet. Also a third or so have not yet fruited.

This guy is just a back yard grower who has a real job and just does this for fun! He's into high density planting so his trees are only about a foot apart and are agressively pruned to keep them small.

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Good topic. Reminds me of an episode in "adventures in cooking"....from my own experiences.

Having gone to college and having been forced to get an apartment with others after our first year, I found myself with several other guys, not one of whom had any experience in the kitchen. Thus our 2nd year was all about: school, learning to cook, and being the guinea pigs for a group of novice cooks, all of whom were relying on cookbooks and moms.

Possibly the worst disaster of the year was my own initial effort at applesauce pulled from one cookbook. (and to think...so much applesauce available at so many supermarkets)

The recipe's two main ingredients were apple juice and flour...and whatever else. You ask...where were the apples??? :D I have to ask that myself at this date...but back then...what did I know???

Easily the worst dish of the year. One I had forgotten until seeing this title. That applesauce recipe is not one you would want to follow in any of the what am I simmering or cooking threads all of which are simply fascinating.

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On 3/12/2013 at 2:29 PM, MsDiPesto said:

Wikipedia has a good list of cultivars and their origins.

The Esopus Spitzenberg originated near where I grew up in the Hudson Valley. My ex claims that an ancestor developed an apple, but that may be puffery.

I thought the Greeks invented apples?  Or at least isn't that what the Dad character said in that big fat wedding movie?

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