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Apple Cultivars, New And Old


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Nothing special, to be honest--but I find that to be true of most of the major commercial varieties (including Jazz' parents, Braeburn and Gala). Jazz and Pink Lady both have stringent quality control--for Pink Lady (and I think for Jazz as well) imperfect fruit can't be sold under the name. (Second quality Pink Lady are sold as Cripps Pink, IIRC)

I used to buy apples from the farm or the greenmarket stands--now those are apples! And as a New Yorker, I beg to differ on WA state apples. Not as good as Northeastern ones, and too dominated by the commercial varieties (though perhaps if you actually live there you can get better ones)

Edited by Alexis (log)
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Jazz Apples are pretty nice, I work at a produce wholesaler and there's a new breed of apple coming out now, it's called Envy Apples from New Zealand and they are one of the best things I've put in my mouth.

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  • 2 months later...
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.

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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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You are welcome. However, I doubt that home refrigerators are the ideal storage enviroment for apples. These comments would apply to commercial apple storage. I wouldn't assume six months.

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

For those commenting on the variable quality of Honeycrisp:

Immature ‘Honeycrisp’ may never mature and thus remain of poor eating quality. Fruit Fruit harvested too early do not develop varietal flavor and are almost tasteless. If harvested too late, ‘Honeycrisp’ can develop fermentation products, such as ethanol and acetaldehyde, which cause undesirable flavors. The onset of such off-flavors is difficult to predict, as there are no associated visual symptoms.

Read more here:

Post Harvest Quality and Handling of 'Honeycrisp' Apples

Cheers,

Anne

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  • 2 weeks later...

My kids love Honeycrisps. They even ask to have them in their lunchbox (that right there is enough for me to buy them). My husband went to the store last and purchased Gala, they were a lot cheaper and he figured they would not know the difference. He was wrong. I didn't even know what he bought until my daughter came up to me and said that the apples did not taste like anything; how come? I checked the tag and realized he picked up the wrong kind. Now the kids will not eat them (I'll make apple crisp or bake them). It's worth the extra $$ to me if they reach for an apple instead of junk for a snack.

I myself like HoneyCrisps but my favorite apple is Granny Smith.

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I buy my winter's supply of apples every fall (October) from the same orchard and, this year, tried Honeycrisp for the first time. I really like them, and they are crisp. It could well be that Honeycrisps, and other apples, will vary in quality for a couple of reasons.

The first would be the individual orchard itself, with soil quality and climate being important. The second is that apples directly from the orchard will always be better than those that have "traveled". Apples need to be kept cold. The closer to 32F, the better. If apples have spent weeks, or more, in trucks, warehouses, and markets without refrigeration, they won't be so good.

So, I bought some Honeycrisps to see how well they'll keep, as well as Macouns - which keep fairly well. But, my favorite apple (many of you can turn up your noses) are Cortlands. The Cortlands from this orchard are, to my mind, the best all around apple, and keep very well. They're still hard into March, and keep into May - though they're getting soft then, they're still good to eat. And, from this orchard, they're the biggest Cortlands, with the nicest color and flavor I know of.

Take a drive and check out your local orchards.

PS. I paid $1.10/pound for the Honeycrisps.

Edited by Country (log)
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  • 7 years later...

I don't know about chemicals but it does sort of piss me off that grocers could be selling you apples that have been stored potentially for years as fresh. Why take away something that helps you gauge the nutritional state of produce? There is no benefit to us, only to the people trying to push apples past their prime as fresh. And this comes from someone who is generally not averse to the GMO thing, depending on the situation.

Edited by Yiannos
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As humans eat the GE apples, they ingest GE DNA containing the gene for kanamycin resistance.  This gene can be transferred to the bacteria that inhabit the human digestive system.  This transfer has been demonstrated with GE soy.  After volunteers ate just one meal of GE soy, bacteria in their digestive systems contained the DNA from the GE soy foods.

[1]  If humans eat GE apples, there is a real possibility that bacteria in the human digestive systems could develop kanamycin resistance.  This would be a major public health threat.  Resistance to antibiotics is a major concern among medical professionals, and kanamycin is commonly used in human medicine.

 

So, we need to analyze the DNA of everything we eat, lest we become that thing? "You are what you eat" has taken on a whole new meaning.

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The article implies that apples are harvested year round so you can always get a fresh apple.  Apples are harvested once per year, so you very rarely get a truly fresh apple. The article also says that any apple lover knows the sign of a fresh apple is lack of browning.  Did the writer never eat an apple before?  How can you tell its browned before you slice it?

 

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58 minutes ago, mgaretz said:

The article implies that apples are harvested year round so you can always get a fresh apple.  Apples are harvested once per year, so you very rarely get a truly fresh apple. The article also says that any apple lover knows the sign of a fresh apple is lack of browning.  Did the writer never eat an apple before?  How can you tell its browned before you slice it?

 

 

The article is poorly written. I suspect the author is very young, and is referring to those bagged apple slices when saying the lack of browning is a sign of freshness.

 

BTW, a lack of browning is not a sign of freshness at all. The browning is just iron reacting with oxygen and forming tiny rust particles. The companies that make the sliced bagged apples pack them in inert gas so that they will look pretty for a much longer time than a home-sliced apple would. So, a lack of browning is simply a sign that oxygen has not been introduced into the sliced apples' bag. An apple sliced at home in the morning and placed in a regular food storage container or bag will be brown by lunchtime, but fresher than the pre-sliced apple.

 

I avoid those processed apples. I cannot believe that people pay extra for them. (or that people, like the article's author, somehow view them as the norm now)

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14 hours ago, Yiannos said:

I don't know about chemicals but it does sort of piss me off that grocers could be selling you apples that have been stored potentially for years as fresh. Why take away something that helps you gauge the nutritional state of produce? There is no benefit to us, only to the people trying to push apples past their prime as fresh. And this comes from someone who is generally not averse to the GMO thing, depending on the situation.

 

 

Unless you only eat apples you've grown yourself you already eat ones that are twelve plus months old. It's normal practice to store them for prolonged periods. 

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If it is already the norm to store apples for a long time before selling, which I totally understand, and we already have ways of storing prepared apple with little to no oxidation using inert gas as Lisa Shock mentioned, then why is this genetic modification being done at all? I'm not trying to start an argument here or anything, but is there any other reason to do this outside of removing visual clues the consumer might use to second guess the quality of a product on a shelf?

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4 hours ago, &roid said:

 

Unless you only eat apples you've grown yourself you already eat ones that are twelve plus months old. It's normal practice to store them for prolonged periods. 

 

While I agree with you in principle, your contention, as presented, is, at least in my area of the world, not necessarily valid.  We can easily purchase fresh apples here from various vendors, one of which, last year, had 32 varieties of apples for sale, all of which were seasonally fresh and local to the Pacific Northwest and nearby areas.  Another vendor lists where the apples were grown, and buying it's easy, then, to get fruit that's in season, even if not local.  Many of our farmers markets require that any produce sold be locally grown, and their definition of that is within a 200 mile radius of the market (there are some small exceptions, but, for example, you won't find bananas or pineapples at these markets).  If you're buying locally you know what's fresh as you know the season when the produce is harvested and sold.  No such thing as Mexican summer squash at these markets.

 

Rather than rely on the supermarket to tell you what's fresh - their definition is often at odds with what is truly fresh - you, as the consumer, need to have an awareness of food - where it's grown, when it's in season, who's growing it - and if fresh produce, including apples, is important to you, make your purchases accordingly.

Edited by Shel_B (log)
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 ... Shel


 

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10 minutes ago, Yiannos said:

If it is already the norm to store apples for a long time before selling, which I totally understand, and we already have ways of storing prepared apple with little to no oxidation using inert gas as Lisa Shock mentioned, then why is this genetic modification being done at all? I'm not trying to start an argument here or anything, but is there any other reason to do this outside of removing visual clues the consumer might use to second guess the quality of a product on a shelf?

 

My understanding is that the benefits would accrue primarily to the food service industry as it would enable them to package those bagged sliced apples without relying on the more expensive inert gas packaging that @Lisa Shock mentioned.  Cut apple slices for restaurant salads or buffets could be prepared hours ahead without the need to bathe them in acidulated water or the like that affects flavor.  The slices will still dry out, shrivel, lose their fresh appearance and eventually rot so the benefit is likely in terms of hours to a day for restaurants and days to weeks for packaged sliced fruits.  

 

The company also says that the non-browning apples won't display the superficial bruising that occurs during picking and packing and they promote that as a benefit to farmers, wholesalers and stores who currently suffer losses due to blemished fruit.  It's not going to prevent fruit damage caused by hail and harsh weather, insects, fungus, or other diseases.

 

The company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, already has varieties of these GMO non-browning apples approved for sale in the US, the "Arctic Golden" variety of Golden Delicious and the "Arctic Granny" variety of Granny Smith but there's been significant anti-GMO backlash against them resulting in several companies who sell lots of those pre-sliced apples (McDonalds, Wendy's, Gerber, others) pledging not to use them.  Several apple growing groups have expressed concerns that if production of GMO apples becomes widespread, other countries may ban import of all US apples.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

My understanding is that the benefits would accrue primarily to the food service industry as it would enable them to package those bagged sliced apples without relying on the more expensive inert gas packaging that @Lisa Shock mentioned.  Cut apple slices for restaurant salads or buffets could be prepared hours ahead without the need to bathe them in acidulated water or the like that affects flavor.  The slices will still dry out, shrivel, lose their fresh appearance and eventually rot so the benefit is likely in terms of hours to a day for restaurants and days to weeks for packaged sliced fruits. 

 

Yeah, that's what I was thinking, could be very  useful in high volume hotels, institutions, airline meals, that sort of thing where you might want to cut apples a day ahead.  I'm not necessarily against GMOs, but the antibiotic resistant aspect is disturbing.

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 years later...

It's a Honeycrisp hybrid, and will be marketed as the "Cosmic Crisp."

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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