October 29, 2014

Let's Talk Apples

Apples, Apples and more Apples!
Let's Talk Apples

 Apples are perhaps America's favorite fruit.

Apples are grown in temperature zones throughout the world.
Cultivated for at least 3,000 years,
apple varieties now number well into the thousands.
Apples range in color from lemony yellow to bright yellow-green to red.
Their textures range from tender to crisp,
Their flavors from sweet to tart and
from simple to complex.
They're available year-round but
are at their best in Autumn when they are newly harvested

Buy firm well-colored apples with a fresh fragrance.
The skins should be smooth and
free of bruises and gouges,
though rough brown spots are acceptable.
Store apples in a cool dark place or
in a plastic bag stored in the refrigerator.
Choose apples by how you intend to use them...
Eating raw or for cooking/baking...
Finding the right apple for the job is important...
using the wrong apple can make a pie "mushy"and
applesauce "crunchy"

Different varieties of apples have certain characteristics. 
Some are best for eating out of hand,
while others are considered best for pies and baking, while
some are selected for their ability to cook down into a smooth puree' for applesauce.
For eating apples raw,
choose an apple that is crisp, firm and juicy.
For pies and sauces,
you'll want an apple that is sweet, crisp and juicy,
yet cooks up tender.
For cider,
a blend of apples are usually chosen,
to give the finished product a full, well balanced flavor.

The flesh of many apples will begin to turn brown,
once they are cut open and are exposed to the air.
Dousing them with water and a little lemon juice will help prevent the apples from browning
but may not be a good idea,
when a true, pure apple taste is important.

Over the past decade,
apple varieties have increased and changed considerably.
Twenty years ago most orchards grew many of the same varieties of apples.
Your choices were limited and
you basically knew what apple to use for pie, sauces and for eating.
Over the years,
I have enjoyed trying new apple varieties and
most orchards will let you "sample" any apple before you buy them.

Apple growers are very knowledgeable about the apples they grow and
are more than willing to answer questions pertaining to apples.
They can also suggest what type of apple to use in recipes calling for apples.
I recently stopped at my favorite apple orchard: Everflow Farm and Orchard

Everflow grows many varieties:
Honey Crisp
State Fair
Wolf River
Shizuka, to name a few

To find a list of apple varieties from A-Z and
to find apple orchards in your state check out~
Orange Pippin,
The comprehensive resource for apples and orchards.
Apple varieties are changing yearly and

Here are a few varieties to look for...
All-purpose apples are good for eating out of hand as well as for cooking.
Good All-purpose Apples:

Golden Delicious
Granny Smith
Lady Apple
Newtown Pippin
Northern Spy
Pink Lady
Rhode Island
Stayman Winesap
York Imperial

For whole baked apples,
the apple of choice is: Rome Beauty

Apples are a good source of fiber and
vitamins A and C.
They're also rich in antioxidants and
may prevent some cancers and heart disease.


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