Thursday, August 23, 2012


I got my first apples of the season this weekend, and I've been eating several a day since.

Apples were okay when I was a kid, but now they're incredibly superb.  They're the taste of summer in a bite, but fresher and crispier.

Is it different apples? 

Or is it that these are pretty fresh from an orchard?

Or have my taste buds changed?

The apples I grew up with were the red delicious, mostly, and we ate them all year long.  The ones I got this week are zestar, and they're early season apples.  Honeycrisps should come in soon, but they aren't ready yet.

So these are different (quite a bit smaller, the zestars, and not waxed or all red) and haven't travelled very far.  Their skin isn't as thick, maybe? 

I got a three pound bag on Wednesday morning, and the next farmers' market is Saturday, when they might have honeycrisps!


  1. Red delicious are awful, so the difference is the apples themselves, I think!

  2. Anonymous5:08 AM

    If they are lovely and ripe, red delicious can be wonderful. But growing up, I remember thinking there was a big difference between the apples at the grocery store, which were just...meh and the apples we got of grammy's apple tree, which were so amazing we often picked them too soon (which was not so amazing) because we couldn't wait.

  3. Anonymous5:48 AM

    Red delicious are still the bland and watery of apples. Yes they're better fresh picked but they're still not as good as almost any other variety.

  4. Anonymous8:20 AM

    We call them "Red Atrocious" in my family. I wouldn't touch one with a ten-foot pole.

  5. Anonymous10:50 AM

    There was a great article on the history of apple development in the New Yorker a few months ago. Basically Red Delicious were bred for appearance rather than taste (as most mass-marketed apples are). Now some growers are taking active steps to prevent the mass growing of certain hybrids so they are not destroyed by people who value appearance/portability over taste.

  6. Another vote for both: they're better if they were grown close by, and picked fully ripe, and varieties that pre- or post-date the emphasis on appearance and shippability than produced the Red not-so-Delcious -- older or quite new varieties -- are better.

    Over the past few years, I've become very fond of Goldrush, one of the relatively new varieties. It's relative late, and so, though it's a good keeper, it's probably not yet this fall, even in more northern climes. It's relatively tart and, at least to my palate, has a much more complex, interesting flavor than, say, a Granny Smith (which was my go-to before this; I definitely prefer some tartness). Farmer's market vendors and others especially recommend it for cooking (and it smells amazing when cooked), but I really like it raw, too.

  7. Everyone's already said the things that I was going to say about Red Delicious.

    Jonathans are yum yum yum! So are Empire! Fujis keep well but aren't as tasty. And that's pretty much the limit of my apple knowledge.

  8. Red delicious actually make great applesauce.

    Honey crips are my fave for eating.