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Catherine Iino

Honeycrisp apples

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I tried them once just to see why they were the most expensive apple in the store. The texture and lack of enough flavor made that a one time purchase. Galas and ginger golds are my favorites.


KathyM

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Oh, all these Apples.

Is there anyone around who can tell me where in the States I can find " Belle de Boskoop "

This apple to me is like a truffle to a mushroom


Edited by Peter B Wolf (log)

Peter

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I have enjoyed certain crops of Galas, certain Fujis, more recently Braeburns, but Honeycrisp is my current favorite since a few back-to-back years of excellent Crispins, which suddenly I can't find in my local stores.

Nothing like a shatteringly crisp, tangy yet not acrid, sweet flavorful apple. I don't know why certain varieties are even still sold. Because at the same time, there are few gustatory downers like eagerly biting into an apple only to find it bland and (worse), mealy. Ugh. Mealy apples should be ashamed of themselves.

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Oh, all these Apples.

Is there anyone around who can tell me where in the States I can find " Belle de Boskoop "

This apple to me is like a truffle to a mushroom

What an interesting name...

If you're near Portland, Oregon you may be in luck... This interesting article also describes some similar tasting apples so that may also be a help.

click

Serious Dutch cooks consider only one apple variety fit for pie, and that's Belle de Boskoop. With its rough skin and faded brown, reddish-green color, it's certainly not pretty. But it's deliciously aromatic, tart, firm and juicy, and it melts beautifully when cooked without losing its structure. When I saw the Belles in Portland, my mouth started watering at the thought of a Dutch apple pie, and I bought almost the entire quantity at hand.

The farmer, Susan Christopherson, grows more than 50 old and new apple varieties.

Christopherson also told me there are terrific substitutes for the Belle de Boskoop, including the Spitzenburg, Cox Orange Pippin, Bramley and Calville Blanc d'Hiver. They're all pleasantly tart, crisp and aromatic, and they make a delicious Dutch pie because they hold up to the long baking time and provide rich flavor and good structure. You can use a single variety, or several, with success.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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The ones I bought today, however, had an incredibly delicate flavor profile. The taste really surprised me as I had remembered them being blandly sweet without any of the winey complexity of a really great apple (imo).

The texture, however, reminded me of why I never cared much for them to begin with.

Personally I prefer an apple with crunch and heft (Braeburn, Pink Lady, Winesap, Macoun) to one that is lighter-bodied and crisper and wet in the mouth with lots of watery juice (Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp), if you know what I mean.

It's just a personal thing. As of today I understand what so many people love about them, though I'll still take a Mutsu or even a Macintosh over one any day.

I hope this makes sense.

This is interesting - just tried my first Honeycrisps this week, since they were on sale at Whole Foods & I thought I'd see what they were about. Flavor: I couldn't have said it better - I got the blandly sweet version, not tthe delicate-flavor-profile edition. I suppose muich depends on where they're grown & when they're picked.

Texture: biting into certain apples produces in me a sensation similar to scrapiing my fingernails on a blackboard. These Honeycrisps are that sort. Yikes. I won't be too eager to try them from other sources.

I'm interested to see Macouns grouped with "crunch & heft" varieties and Fujis with "lighter bodied." From the ones I get around these parts I would characterize these two as the opposite, particularly Macouns, which I still love for their flavor.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Has anyone here ever had a Golden Russet?? Those, in my opinion, are far more superior than a Honeycrisp. I love their sweet/tart combo and its dry but crisp texture.

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I bought a coplue of honeycrisps on Sunday. Bit into one monday. Wasn't impressed. Not what I was expecting. It wasn't really sweet and it didn't have a crisp texture. Kinda soft and loose.

Based on many of the comments here, I think I didn't get a good example of this variety. I have one more in the fridge, but I suspect it will be the same. It came from the same display at the grocery store. I didn't pay much attention as to where they came from. Maybe the one I still have has a sticker on it that will reveal some more info? We'll see.

My favorite apple is a Macintosh.

But I can't eat it.


Edited by jsmeeker (log)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Okay, it only took me a minute or two to get that. Actually, that's the only kind of Macintosh I like. The edible kind are completely unappealing to me--and the honeycrisps you got sound kind of like them.


Edited by Catherine Iino (log)

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It's a shame that foods become marketed on what is perceived to be the most desirable qulaity - Apples should be as crisp as possible, corn should be sweet, strawberries should be juicy etc. Some of the best apples I have tasted (Invariably from farmers markets - although there used to be a stall at a train station in Kent with a remarkable selection of local varieties) haven't been crisp at all - a slight shock at first, you think they must be off, but have the most complex and rich flavour. I guess they don't travel or keep well because they are so soft.


I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I saw Honeycrisps for the first time yesterday, at a local grocery store (Sobey's for the Canadians). The stickers on them said they were from BC.

I bought a few, to see what the fuss was or was not about. Had one last night - it was ok, but nothing special. Reminded me of a Mac or Spartan. This morning I had another. It was delicious. Crisp and just sweet enough and just tangy enough.

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This morning at about 8:30, after an hour and a half of campaigning outside a local diner in the blustery cold, I ate a honeycrisp. It was sweet and juicy and crisp, and I enjoyed it immensely. Still not as tangy as I would like, but like a hot dog in a ballpark--Go Sox--it was great in context.

Interestingly, the woman who runs the farmstand where I bought it agreed with me that honeycrisps are over-rated. She favors Macouns, but allows that they don't keep well at all.

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Interestingly, the woman who runs the farmstand where I bought it agreed with me that honeycrisps are over-rated. She favors Macouns, but allows that they don't keep well at all.

She is so right. I bought my last bag of Macouns for the year last weekend (third weekend in October) and they were already past peak. I'll get through the bag only because I eat so darn many of them. But the Macoun season is about three weeks and the ones you buy at the end of that time period don't keep well for more than two weeks.

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I saw Honeycrisps for the first time yesterday, at a local grocery store (Sobey's for the Canadians).  The stickers on them said they were from BC.

I bought a few, to see what the fuss was or was not about.  Had one last night - it was ok, but nothing special.  Reminded me of a Mac or Spartan.  This morning I had another.  It was delicious.  Crisp and just sweet enough and just tangy enough.

same thing happened to me.

I bought two of them about a week ago. I had one, and it was "ehh..."

The second one? Much better. really weird. Both bought from the same very large display on the same day. Do these apples continue to ripen after I take them home and pur them in the fridge??


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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I used to buy Macouns from a sort of urban farm stand before greenmarkets were a twinkle in the eye of anybody, and they were my favorite apple. That stand went out of business long ago, and I have been so disappointed in the Macouns I have had in the last few years that I stopped buying them. Now I know why!

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It all depends on where an apple is grown, the orchard, the year, the place, the time of picking: orchard run apples are picked at various stages of ripeness to suit the needs of the owner, be it fresh market sales or controlled atmosphere storage.

In each case, the stage of ripening will be dramatically different; so if some picked mainly for the latter purpose are offered also for fresh market sales now, then ripening at controlled temperatures, not warm house temperatures would be needed to bring out their best.

I have just finished sampling some of the finest lots of Honeycrisp I have seen in recent years, sold at 99cents/lb, orchard run, very sweet, tangy, perfect balance, crisp, fantastic color, shows why this apple is prized. Total WOW, from someone not at all easily impressed. Sold in a farmstand at Dryden, New York. End of that run like lightning! Similar story with Cameos: can be magnificent one year, humdrum the next, in this area.

I have spent more than 17 years at the USDA Clonal Germplasm Repository at Geneva, NY, that holds more than 2500 types of apples and have a field book with annotation marking the variations from year to year of the same variety on the same date, for several days each year for those years. That adds up to 24 rows with more than 50 varieties/or trees per row.

If one factors in one's experience with several stations in the general area of Ithaca, Geneva and Wayne County, one feels that blanket assertions like Golden Russet is better than ..., or Honeycrisp is overrated, or Macoun is better than X, or so and so said that she KNOWS that Macoun is better than X, need to be viewed with some trepidation, not only because personal taste and preference cannot be generalized for a population of humans, but growing conditions also vary dramatically between orchards, and even between fruit situated on the sunny and shaded aspects of a tree, trees on different types of rootstocks, training systems, trees of different ages, different growing practices, and a hundred other variables.

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Oh, all these Apples.

Is there anyone around who can tell me where in the States I can find " Belle de Boskoop "

This apple to me is like a truffle to a mushroom

I googled it and this looks like a good source source


Robert

Seattle

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V. gautam, I wish I could taste the honeycrisps you describe. I suppose the moral of your story is "taste before you buy." It sounds as if there are just too many factors of which we usually have no knowledge, much less control.

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Re: Belle de Boskoop,

1. NAFEX, North American Fruit Explorers, have members who sell an assortment of heirloom apples, including B d B

2. You may request free budwood of B d B from Philip Forsline, Curator, USDA Clonal Germplasm Collection, Geneva NY. Go to USDA-GRIN and find either Apples or Geneva, NY and proceed according to the instructions.

3.Order a tree from Cummins Nursery:

http://www.cumminsnursery.com/antiques.htm

Prof. J. Cummins, now emeritus, was the pre-eminent breeder of dwarf rootstocks in this country. He has a small nursery that he runs with his older son and wife. Great quality. Very personal touch, ask him to graft your trees on his very dwarfing CG-65 [about 5 feet], or dwarfing CG-41.

BdB will require another to pollinate it, suggest this crab from Geneva collection, Uralskoje Nalivnoje, or the Chestnut Crab, both superb eating apples. You can get both free from Phil Forsline, and root them yourself as own root cuttings. Or ask Jim Cummins his opinion.

Where are you located? BdB does best in a cooler, moist location; but is flexible to an extent. Let me know if I can help.

gautam.

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My husband is totally hooked on Honeycrisps. Juicy, crispy, sweet, delicate...so, so good. Terribly expensive, though. Over two dollars a pound! :shock:


Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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Terribly expensive, though. Over two dollars a pound!  :shock:

They are about $2 a pound here in BC, too.

One of my favorite qualities of Honeycrisp apples... they maintain their color and texture, even when cut, and at room temperature. So, quite perfect for serving fresh to a crowd of, say, hungry kids after school. Or on a dessert tray, or on a made-ahead cheese tray. Good for garnishing (because they don't turn brown quickly).

I've cut into a Honeycrisp and taken a slice or two every day for several days; enjoyed every bite!


Karen Dar Woon

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Although you can definitely put me down as a Honeycrisp fan, I am definitely noticing a wide range of quality in these apples. Some are such a marvelous experience they almost knock my socks off. Others are in more of a "what's so special about this?" category. This is the first year I'm noticing this. It makes me wonder whether a lot of people have seen a gold mine in this apple, and are perhaps growing it under conditions that are not the best for this particular tree. If that's not the case, then we're definitely getting apples that have been stored.

I'm a gambler, though. I'll keep buying them, hoping for that nearly transformational experience. I'd rather pay $2 a pound for a mediocre Honeycrisp than 50 cents a pound for a mediocre anything else.

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For a few weeks now I've been buying bags of Honeycrisp apples and apparently we've been lucky in that all of them have been good, well, outstanding actually. I keep them in a tightly closed plastic bag in the refrigerator. I wonder how long they keep? We eat them everyday but the supply won't last forever.


Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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Regarding storage, the University of Minnesota Dept of Horticultural Science (where Honeycrisp originated) states:

Honeycrisp fruit has shown excellent storage characteristics. The outstanding flavor and texture can be maintained for at least six months in refrigerated storage without atmosphere modification.

Its origins:

Honeycrisp was produced from a 1960 cross of Macoun and Honeygold, as part of the University of Minnesota apple breeding program to develop winter hardy cultivars with high fruit quality.

Read more here: Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Minnesota


Cheers,

Anne

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Six months? Wow! This is good news. Thank you for the info, barolo.


Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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