|Gala apples, considered one of the most popular varieties.|
One of many joys of autumn… apples. With the cooler temperatures come the days of family activities and childhood trips to local orchards to ride the hay wagons, watch the cider mill crush freshly picked apples, and sample the cold clear cider. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right?
Nothing can cause more divergent views and bitter arguments than the question, “Which apple has the best flavor?” Sweet, tangy, crunchy, crispy are characteristics of apples. Your favorite apple is a personal choice based on complex flavonoids and each individuals complex and personal taste buds.
Let's start with McIntosh. One of the best table, eating, or lunch box apples. The McIntosh apple has a green skin with red blush. It grows best in colder climates and grew historically first, in northern Canadian. It is crisp and juicy with white flesh and a tart flavor. Look for the new crop in late September.
HeirloomsMost people are familiar with some of the older, well known apples. I like the story of the Esopus Spitzenburg' or 'Aesopus Spitzenburgh.' heirloom apple grown at Monticello. Jefferson would write home to his family while in England or Paris and become disappointed when his daughter's letters in response, didn’t seem to share the enthusiasm he had for his gardens and orchards. He wanted more details.
Here are a few, of many apples, considered heirlooms.
Orange Pippin Ashmead Kernal Roxbury russet
Grimes Golden King David heirloom apple
Exciting and New
Favorite apples to use for baking are Hubbardston Nonesuch, Cortland, Bramley's seedling, Duchess of Oldenburg, Gravenstein, Greening's Rhode Island, Holstein, Paulared, Red Astrakan, Twenty ounce, Wolfe River, and Baldwin.
StorageApples won't ripen further after being picked. Some apples will convert their starches into sugar after being picked. This is known as "curing", and is best achieved by leaving fruit in the refrigerator.
Several states have apple associations that welcome visitors and provide information about varieties grown in their state.