Monday, October 20, 2014

Fresh Empire

I treasure Empire in the spring, when it is a reliable echo of Fall's vinous apples.

But I rarely eat it during that harvest.

With a decidedly streaky blush, a bit of a smokey bloom, and a shape less conical than I have come to expect, these large apples look different enough from the supermarket version that I did not immediately recognize them hanging on the tree.

So I picked one and brought it home.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Now bare, they barely bore

Yesterday at Hutchins Farm. The trees were unproductive this year.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Niagara (Niagara Mac)

Of all the "new" apples I got on a recent trip to New York City, Niagara may be the only one I haven't had before.

It's medium-sized, but there were larger ones available. I just didn't want to carry more than I had to.

For the most part Niagara resembles an oblate, ribbed McIntosh, with a streaky red blush over yellow green.

Light lenticels are quite large on parts of the apple, probably where growth has especially stretched the peel. That peel has a satin-gloss finish.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Welcome to autumn!

It's apple season, welcome to Adam's Apples! If you are curious about this fruit you have come to the right place.

Here you can find more than 200 different varieties described in my opinionated catalog. If that's more than you can chew, you might visit my seasonal guide or my Michelin-style rating system for apples.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

2014 harvest going, going....

Russell Powell of the New England Apple Association reports,

The 2014 New England apple crop is decidedly uneven. Some orchards have plenty of fruit, some just miles away have been forced to close early after running out of fresh apples.

Update: Business Columnist Shirley Leung has the story in the October 8 Boston Globe. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Apples in disguise

I'm always hoping to find apples that are new to me, to taste and describe here.

Domino mask
This year I've walked many through the ritual of photographing and tasting, only to find that they are not new at all. Instead these apples were just sold under unfamiliar names.

A recent visit to the Big Apple included a pilgrimage to several farmers markets. New York City draws fruit from some fine orchards upstate and in New Jersey.

I returned with 4 varieties I hoped to add to my opinionated catalog. All but one, however, were retreads in disguise.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Heritage applesauces

How could I not share this great photo from Toronto apple aficionado and tweeter extraordinaire Suzanne Long?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Crimson Crisp vs Jonathan

Today we pit Crimson Crisp, a modern breed from the Purdue Rutgers Indiana cooperative, against Jonathan, which is two hundred years old. Indeed Jonathan is Crimson Crisp's great grandfather.

Crimson Crisp at left, Jonathan at right
That's only one sixteenth Jonathan, but it's enough to make me curious about these two varieties, which ripen close enough to permit a comparision.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Early Golden is Golden Supreme

This apple was a gift called "Early Golden." It is my ungrateful business here to look all apples in the mouth, gifts included. In this case it looks as though I found a slightly overripe (but not unpleasant!) Golden Supreme.

This medium-sized apple is a beautiful pure yellow flecked with dark gray lenticels, especially on the sunward side where a faint blush adds a subtle orange cast.

My Early Golden is classically shaped, both conical and oblate with modest ribbing. It is very firm in hand with a calyx that is mostly, but not completely, closed, and it smells faintly of cider and honey.