Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Akane apple tasting review

Akane apple is pronounched "Ah-kah-nay"

I was unimpressed when I tried Akane back in 2010. But a reader told me to sample this variety fresh off the tree for the real story.

Given that my 2010 Akane was on the early side, and from a food co-op in Seattle, a redo seemed like a reasonable item for the apple bucket list. But it's not grown widely here, and this is my first crack at a second bite.

Friday, September 15, 2017

This week: McIntosh

Oh sure, you could find them for sale (unripe) last month.



But now McIntosh is finally at peak! All hail the King of Fall.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Puritan returns


Puritan was one of the first apples I reviewed on this blog, back in early August of 2008.

Rereading that review made me think that apple might have been picked early. So when I saw it again, in early September this time, I decided it was time for a second bite.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sticker Shock

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Testing the sugar waters again

I'm a fair minded guy so decided to revisit the Great Sugar Bomb, Honeycrisp.


No, I'm not a fan—through I do appreciate them in a sort of arms-length abstract way.

I've been told that Honeycrisp is not so super sweet in its native Minnesota. Today's apple only hails from Western Massachusetts, but was orchard fresh and different in appearance than the hulking planetoids I have seen in the past.

Anyway, I had hopes that my tastebuds would catch a glimpse of something different this time.

Monday, September 4, 2017

What's pickin'? Smart farmers tell

Three cheers for Volante Farms in Needham, and their website. In season, this web page reliably tells what apple varieties they have to sell.

Yesterday, Genevieve Weston, of Weston's Antique Apples, shared a list of a dozen apple varieties that are ready to eat, in a Facebook post.

Macks' Apples in New Hampshire reeled me in a few years ago with this tweet:


I'm no fool: I got myself right up there.

Clarkdale Fruit Farms has a weekly e-newsletter with current fruit information.

Here's the pitch. If you want to sell apples, tell people specifically what you've got today.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Genes bring apple history into focus

DNA orbit animatedWe all know that apples are from Kazakhstan. But today, gene resequencing techniques are telling us more about the long voyage of the apple from the wilds of the Tien Shen mountains to the U-Pick orchard.

In particular, the modern European-style apple is a cross between the original Kazakh apple, Malus sieversii, and the European crab apple, M. sylvestris.

Friday, August 25, 2017

This week: Paula Red

Are you missing McIntosh this week? That classic fall apple is still a good 3 weeks away (4 if you don't want yours green).


In the meantime there is Paula Red, the best of the early Mac-like varieties of August (take that, Jersey Mac!)

Friday, August 18, 2017

This week: Gravenstein

This apple, tart, sweet, and complex, may be the best of August. Gravenstein makes me think of an early Macoun.



It is the one to get this week! and probably the next.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

What a difference nine years makes

I've finally replaced the worst photograph I've ever published on this blog with something better:


It's a Jersey Mac, reviewed here in 2008. It was the second apple review that I wrote for this blog, and the second apple that I photographed.

I still think I nailed it with the review, but the photo was just awful.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

At the start of my tenth apple harvest

I jumped into this blog at the start of the harvest in 2008, eager to see what farmers market had in store.





There have been pleasant surprises every year, and I have always tried to fulfill my promise to share wonder without adding too many frills.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Lodi meets GoldRush


In this photograph, Lodi (left) and GoldRush clasp hands across the seven barren months that divide one harvest from another.

Lodi, the tapered green fruit at left, is the harbinger of the new harvest, the first and only apple at farmers market.

GoldRush was picked last October and has spent its days in my mudroom and refrigerator.

Let's see how they compare.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

No apples yet

The cupboard is bare at Nagog Hill Farm yesterday.