The common wisdom is that the fruit trees in this region are making up this year for last year’s noncrop. Apple trees are no exception, sending out vast amounts of fruit, just as the pear trees and cherry trees and raspberry brambles did this year.
My first 2008 apples, as you may recall, were the summer Lodi apples. So far this fall, I’ve only received three free apples, as seen in the photo above, and they are humdingers. See that quarter there for size? And each apple weighs/weighed more than 8 ounces. My oldest sister gave them to me the other day, samples from her haul from Waverly, Missouri (something of a centroid of apple production in the area for one reason or another, including at Peters Orchard).
She gave me a sample of each of the three varieties she bought. From left, in the photo above, are Jonagold, Jonathan and Fuji. Only the Jonagold remains, and not for long. I’m quite sure I’ve never seen a Jonathan as big as this one was, but it’s flavor (sweet-tart) and texture were delicious. The Fuji was quite sweet. Both have, as expected, fairly thin skins.
Meanwhile, I’ve been buying local apples, too. I bought Gala and Golden Delicious from a vendor at the Lawrence Farmers Market who was in from Sabetha, Kansas. (Or was it Seneca. Drat. Guess I’ll have to figure that out later.) I haven’t gotten into the Goldens yet, although the vendor said they were pretty tart, and they’re a little on the green side. I don’t doubt him; Golden Delicious are wonderful for baking (and not related to Red Delicious I learned recently), but the local ones never seem to capture the sweetness that the Washington ones do. The Galas were agreeably sweet and crisp.
I also bought Jonathans from Fieldstone Orchard of Overbrook, Kansas, at the Community Mercantile. Ken Krause, who chatted up Merc customers last Saturday on a vendors day, said the family also has a you-pick operation, which got a nice writeup in Fat City. And I got those 50-cent-a-pound Jonathans (scroll down for the apple reference on that link) at Davenport. I should have gotten more; they’re almost gone.
On top of all those apples are the three or four Red Delicious last week in my Rolling Prairie bag. Haven’t tried them yet. Red Delicious aren’t my favorite. Don’t care for the leathery skin or the supersweet (or tasteless) flavor and the often-mealy texture. But. I’m sure these are dandy, and they probably are the only organic ones in the lot.
How ’bout them apples?
The Jonathan and Golden Delicious are probably my favorites for their lovely but different flavors and their versatility for eating and baking. What are your favorites? Why?
Amazingly, for all these apples, I have yet to bake apple anything. I’ve just eaten them daily, sometimes two or three of them. Like the trees, I’m trying to make up for last year’s noncrop.