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Thu Nov 8, 2018, 03:32 PM

Can we talk about apples?

Crisp apples, and I mean really crisp, are one of my favorite foods. The problem is that soft, mealy apples literally make me gag, and I'm terrible at picking good ones at the supermarket. Other than just using your finger to test for firmness, which never seems to work for me in all but the most obvious cases, does anyone else have a better method? Should I only buy certain varieties? Does buying organic help?

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Response to Bleacher Creature (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 03:40 PM

1. I would like to know this too. There are about two weeks in October where

Cortland apples are the most delicious food in the world around here. But the moment the two weeks is over, they are watery, mealy and tasteless. It's always a sad moment.

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Response to Bleacher Creature (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 03:41 PM

2. Apples! It is all about variety and how they are stored

Best bet is farmers market (that get them from orchards), or from orchards themselves.

Avoid the "big names" - Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Cortland, Rome Red (which is really only for cooking).

I like to look for Mutsu (esp when on the green side of yellow), Jonathan, Jonagold, Cameo, Jonamac. Winesap can be fine when properly stored and in season.

Riskier are the newly popular Gala, Pink Lady, and Braeburn because they can be picked way ahead and held, where they can lose their crispness. Fuji and Honey Crisp are always quite crisp, but often too sweet (for me, anyway - I like some tartness to my apples).

There are literally thousands of varieties of apples, and many great heirloom types hundreds of years old that are still grown here and there but hard to find.

For a real treat, look for the rare Russet varieties - way out of style because the skin is more like a bosc pear. Ashmead's Kernel, Golden Russet, Roxbury Russet, Hudson's Golden Gem - spectacular flavor.

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Response to Bleacher Creature (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 03:59 PM

3. I am totally on board with you about crisp vs. mushy apples.

My family looks at me as sort of an apple fussbudget. I don't even buy grocery store apples, I buy them from a local farm market that grows them right there on the farm. At least that way you know they are fresh, and haven't been shipped across the country and sat in a warehouse somewhere. To me, it's worth the trip out of the way to get a good, crisp, apple. I eat one every day so I buy a nice large bag of them and keep them in the cellar refrigerator that's set a little bit warmer than the refridge in my kitchen. The refridge in my kitchen will freeze them if left in there too long.

If you must buy from the grocery store, stay away from Red Delicious! I am totally in agreement with you about a mushy apple. Blech. If you want crisp, I'd recommend Fuji or Gala.

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 06:29 PM

9. Glad to hear I'm not alone!

If an apple is too mushy, I can't even get beyond the first bite.

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Response to Bleacher Creature (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 04:14 PM

4. McIntosh is my go to for everything apple....

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Response to Bleacher Creature (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 04:23 PM

5. Personal preference is NY Honey Crisp, Cortland, Paula Red, Red Delicious

In fact, any NY Apple because of the cleaner air and water upstate. Perfect time to get the best of the season. Baking a pie with Ida Reds tonight

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Response to Bleacher Creature (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 04:51 PM

6. No method here, and apples aren't my favorite fruit;

I use Granny Smith to add to chix curry.

BUT just tasted an unusual apple, ONLY grown near me in MD: Spencerville Red, and I really liked it!

https://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/3049

What makes Spencerville
Red Apple’s special is that they are high in natural sugar and high in acid which make it perfect for eating, cooking and for use in other
apple products.

https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Agservices/Farm_tour_/HeysersFarm.html

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Response to elleng (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 06:25 PM

8. Thank you!!!

I only live a few minutes from Heyser's Farm and will definitely give the Spencerville reds a try this weekend!

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Response to Bleacher Creature (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 06:31 PM

10. GOOD!

I think this year's stock was smaller than usual due to wet weather; I have 2, a friend bought them for me last week, and I didn't stop by today when I was traveling to Calvert.

Let me know how it turns out!

They're closed Sundays.

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Response to Bleacher Creature (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 05:41 PM

7. If I do buy bulk, I look for particular brands...

I don't know why but when I can find the same brand of Fuji in a blue bag, those are always good. Also, I have to be persnickety with the checkout person and ask them NOT to drop the apples into the bag like a ship dropping anchor. One cashier got to know me and he used to cradle the bag like a baby until he handed them to me.

I have the best luck with those at the farmers market.

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Response to Bleacher Creature (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2018, 05:29 PM

11. Try getting apples grown during the last part of the growing season. The ones like Fuji, Braeburn,

Pink Lady, Stayman Winesap all have the crisp, juicy texture you like. You can't use the squeeze method with apples. I have a favorite called Gold Rush, but it isn't available commercially. We have to go to apple growers for this prize, but it is definitely worth the trip. I can bring home big bags of these and store them (in our extra refrigerator) until March. They don't ever get mushy--they only get sweeter. They are worth the wait.

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