How to get started as a true apple lover?

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How to get started as a true apple lover?

Post by Splendorlex »

I recently decided to cut out processed, sugary sweets. I found the perfect substitute in good old fashioned apples. I've always liked apples, but now I'm finding myself borderline obsessed with them. I love that there are so many varieties, but that is also overwhelming. I have a decent idea of some of the things I like in an apple, but I don't know which varieties I should try. My favorite so far is the pink lady . I know that I greatly prefer a crisp texture, and I'm actually a little put off by a mealy or soft texture. I like at least a little tartness, but I'm not yet sure how tag would be too treat for me.

What are some good ways to get started?
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Location: Mid Michigan

Re: How to get started as a true apple lover?

Post by Greyt.Chase »

Find your local farmers market. Find your local orchards. Buy some of each apple you can find and take notes on what you like and what you don't. I know it seems pretty basic, but it's a good place to start.
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Re: How to get started as a true apple lover?

Post by dmtaylor »

If you have any orchards nearby, taste 10 or 12 different kinds of apples... buy a small bag or half-peck of each, and compare slices side by side to see what you prefer. I am fortunate to live near some excellent orchards, some of which have many old heritage varieties. I have tasted probably 100 different kinds of apples, and I have kept tasting notes on most of them so I know which ones I prefer. If you don't like them, you can always juice them and make sweet or hard cider of them. Cider is always great, even with apples that aren't perfect. Then of course there's also sauce, pies, etc. Nothing goes to waste in my house. We buy bushels of 'em, and they all get juiced, baked, sauced, or eaten.
Stephen Horsfall
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Re: How to get started as a true apple lover?

Post by Stephen Horsfall »

Get hold of this book, which is the aspple-lover's bible, and contact these chaps, who have one of the most, if not the most, extensive collections of rare apples (and common ones) in the world.
My apples: Brownlees' Russet, Bramley's Seedling, Dabinett, James Grieve, Egremont Russet, Cottenham Seedling, Tom Putt, Ribston Pippin, Isaac Newton's Tree.
Carl on Cape Cod
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Re: How to get started as a true apple lover?

Post by Carl on Cape Cod »

I absolutely second keeping notes! Pay attention to general taste, sweetness, aroma, texture. If you're just exploring, there are no failed experiments, just ones that show you things that are not at the top of your list. Don't be afraid to retry something that you did not like the previous season or from another source.

We enjoy doing this sort of thing in a very geeky way in our house: one person cuts up some apples, and puts a label upside down on the plate, and the other tastes and comments. Even better is to have the taster close his eyes and not pay attention to the appearances. Also, try several varieties at a times; taste is something like color - none exist in a vacuum and "compare and contrast" is a good way to do it. (This all works well with any cheeses or wines too.... compare, compare compare!).

When you're buying, don't ever miss a chance to grab any of the older varieties; some are not common for reasons that have nothing to do with taste.

And my absolute best advice: never overlook a russet!
Current trees: (on Bud 118) Roxbury Russet (2), Gravenstein (1), Hewe's Crab (1), Golden Russet (2), Liberty (1), Unknown local early russet (1)
Maiden Trees in nursery in 2016 (Bud 118): Harrison's Cider (1), Unknown local early russet (2), Fameuse (1)
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