April 10, 2009

How D'ya Like Them Apples

I’ve never been a big apple fan, and no I’m not talking about the teenage dude versus the nerdy, portlier guy with glasses. I’m talking about actual apples—the kind that grow on trees.

I’m not sure what it was that made them drop to the bottom of my “preferred fruit” list. I think I always found them to be too tart, and I hated getting pieces of apple skin stuck in my teeth. I always liked the sweeter fruits, like strawberries or blackberries or oranges.

Lately, however, DH and I have taken to trying different apple varieties. Did you know that there are endless “kinds” of apples out there? I think I’ve discovered that the reason I sort of disliked apples all those years is because the only kind I ever ate were Red Delicious, and those just didn’t strike the right taste-bud chords on my tongue.

So, if you’re like me and you’ve been turned off by apples in general. Give these more specific little beauties a shot, and see if they can’t turn you back on.

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This is the most recent apple that I’ve tried. It’s a relative newcomer to the apple scene, discovered in 1987 in Washington. It’s believed to be a cross between Red and Golden Delicious apples, but no one really knows. It is bright red striped over creamy orange, firm and crisp with an aromatic flavor.

My personal feeling is that it’s sweet, but not hard. I don’t really like a soft apple myself, but its softness prevents that “apple skin in the teeth” feeling that I dislike so much, without forfeiting any flavor. It’s juicy too, mmm. And they are really large—kind of filling. Plus, its got a great name. =)

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The Gala apple is mild and sweet. Its thin skin and tender, pale yellow flesh makes it a great out-of-hand eating apple. They are also usually small in size and are resistant to bruising, which makes it easy to stash in your purse on the way out the door. They were developed in New Zealand in the 20s—a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Kidd’s Orange Red.

This was the apple that made me rethink my no-apple policy. When I was in college, there was a vending machine I frequented that always had Galas. My DH raved about them, so I gave them a shot. They are really sweet and refreshing!

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These apples are also relative newcomers to the apple world. A Fuji apple is about the size of a baseball and has a delicious sweet flavor with a crispy texture. Mmm, a fine combo! If you can guess from the name, they originate from Japan and were brought to the American market in the 60s. Fujis were developed by Japanese growers, but they are actually a cross between two American apples: Red Delicious and Virginia Ralls Genet. They are thought to be named after Mount Fuji. (Like the film maybe?)

These are also really sweet. I would describe the Fuji as the quintessential nature’s candy. If you have a craving for sugar, try grabbing one of these babies before hitting up the starbursts.

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The Jonagold apple is a cross between Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples. (And I think it’s got the cutest name, too, considering its origins!) The skin is gold with orange stripes, surrounding a creamy, pale yellow flesh. The fruit is sweet with a nice balance of tart.

This apple ranks the highest in tart for me on this “sweet apple” scale I’ve created. But, somehow the tartness sort of highlights the sweet taste rather than giving you that “sour patch kid” squeeze in the lips. Their insides are also softer than other apples, which I dislike, but for these it isn’t so bad for some reason. These are my least favorite, but they are still good.

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These apples have been used for parentage of other apples, as you can see. They are firm and yellow with a lightly speckled skin. The flavor is sweet, but mellow, which makes it a good cooking apple. It holds its shape when baked, but it bruises easily, so you have to be gentle.

These are some of my favorite apples because I love making the sweet Bosnian treat tufahijia with them. One day I’ll post the recipe for that—delicious!



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Well, I hope I’ve piqued your interest for nature’s sweet desserts
in the apple variety. And besides, you know what they say about an
apple a day . . . Happy Eating!

1 comment:

Dan and Margo said...

I love Gala Apples. I could eat one every day! I also like Braeburn but they only are available in the fall and hard to come by.