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Apple Cultivars, New And Old


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This quote stood out for me:

 

"But as the industry increasingly bred for the appearance of perfection, the flesh of the apple beneath became more mushy and mealy."

 

It's not just the apple.  I was ecstatic when I found someone in the middle of the city selling his own tomatoes.  They taste like tomatoes should.  Unless you are buying heirloom tomatoes, even the tomatoes at the farmer's markets taste of not much.  Yesterday I stopped in at a store to buy some strawberries.  The nice juicy ones have given way to these huge flavorless bombs, tasting of nothing.  These berries were from Quebec,  not imports.   I used to eat a lot of apples growing up, but not anymore.  I look forward to trying these.

 

Thanks for the article.  Something to look forward to.

 

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As I see it, the differences between Honeycrisp and Cosmic Crisp are mostly logistical. CC will be easier/lower cost to grow, and will store for longer without losing quality. Both excellent things, as far as that goes, but so far I've been underwhelmed by most of this new generation of branded apples (Pazzazz, Juici, and even Honeycrisp).

 

I do like Ambrosia, and have lucked into bags of them among the "Naturally Imperfect" produce at Superstore and No Frills. No Frills puts the 6-lb bag on for $4.97 pretty regularly, which is a smokin' deal for apples.

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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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As a farmer's kid, it was an early lesson that the beautiful but unripened produce had no flavor, while the imperfect but ripe was the most flavorful,  unfortunately, the vast purchasing public wants the aesthetic over the flavor dependent on eye appeal. 

 

I avoided the engineered Delicious apples all my life due to the fact that we were inundated with various mongrel apple trees in our immediate area, all of a different flavor, size and season.  I could never understand why the Delicious was king.  Emperor's new clothes.

 

Now, I'll pick up the Jazz apples and be perfectly happy with them.

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  • 4 months later...

I had my first Cosmic Crisp apple today, selling for $2.99 at my local Shop Rite. Nice and crisp, Firm flesh, skin not overly tough, sweet. The flavor reminded me a bit of Braeburn. I would buy it again, but don’t feel like it was a “life changing” apple experience.😉

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Erm, the fact these apples do not turn brown and their outlandish keeping qualities scream genetic engineering to me. Have fun with them, though.

 

For me, I love a freshly farvested macintosh apple. To me that fresh macintosh, so crisp, so tart and so juicy is the very epitome of apples.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Forgot to mention, I had my first Cosmic Crisp two nights ago -- $3.49 a pound as I recall.  Shape reminded me of Red Delicious, never a good sign.  Skin was thick.  Taste and texture reminiscent of raw potato.  But it was not horrible.  To my mind the worst apple sin is mealiness and my Cosmic Crisp was certainly not mealy.

 

My favorite apple variety remains Lady Alice.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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  • 10 months later...

New variety of apple that I picked up at the supermarket, Lucy Glo (Washington State). They weren’t kidding when they described it as being red on the inside. It is fairly tart, not as much as Granny Smith, firm texture. I am enjoying with some cheese, it would probably be good for pie making if the texture holds up.

3284C56F-DA80-44B3-B17A-42C50E8A80AA.jpeg

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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2 hours ago, curls said:

Very interesting apple @BeeZee. I’m going to see if it is available in my area. Did you get the Lucy Glo apples at a speciality or regular supermarket?

Regular supermarket, ShopRite, which generally has fairly mainstream produce.

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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  • 3 weeks later...

There are a number of cultivars out there, and I occasionally find "feral" apples (those from long-ago farms, now un-tended in strips of woodland around and between residential neighbourhoods) with anything from a blush of pink to a bright vermilion in their interior.

 

There's a small tree near where I live right now that fits into the latter category. It's pretty tiny and scrubby, maybe 8' tall (picture if Charlie Brown had gotten an apple tree instead of a Christmas tree) and the fruit are small but flavorful. I harvest a few each autumn to give my applesauce a nice rosy hue. If I have the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills before I move away, I might attempt to harvest some scion wood from that one and take it with me.

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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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3 hours ago, BeeZee said:

They are more sour, but in a pleasant way. There is sort of a hint of strawberry in the flavor..

 

I noticed that my local Shoprite has them.  Probably has had them for a while.  They have told me that when they don't have a sign for produce, they just put the produce out unmarked.  Seriously.

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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2 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

I noticed that my local Shoprite has them.  Probably has had them for a while.  They have told me that when they don't have a sign for produce, they just put the produce out unmarked.  Seriously.

 

These apples had a non-standard sign/shelf label, likely from the supplier since it appeared to have more of a “logo” look. I hadn’t seen the price first time I purchased, I think they were $3.99/lb when I looked on Friday. Not sure I liked them enough to pay the premium on a regular basis, but fine for a bit of variety.

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Has anyone tried the new Opal apples?

1275350440_OpalApplesfinal.thumb.jpg.255396ae4b9c8d6cea24f2ab34e1ed80.jpg

Their exterior skin is a very bright yellow, almost luminescent (like the jewel they are named after).

I despise Golden Delicious apples because they're usually soft and/or mealy.

These Opals are not. They are crisp and sweet and here's the very weird thing...they don't oxidize. That's where my photo doesn't do them justice. What looks like browning on the apple isn't. This apple has been cut and sitting out at room temperature for 15 minutes. Most apples would have turned brown in that time. Not the Opal.

Funny, but on Rachael Ray's syndicated show last week, she used some Opals in whatever dish she was cooking and said hers had been cut an hour before and they were still picture perfect sitting in her mise en place bowl.

Would love to hear if anyone else has tried them...

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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2 hours ago, Toliver said:

Has anyone tried the new Opal apples?

1275350440_OpalApplesfinal.thumb.jpg.255396ae4b9c8d6cea24f2ab34e1ed80.jpg

Their exterior skin is a very bright yellow, almost luminescent (like the jewel they are named after).

I despise Golden Delicious apples because they're usually soft and/or mealy.

These Opals are not. They are crisp and sweet and here's the very weird thing...they don't oxidize. That's where my photo doesn't do them justice. What looks like browning on the apple isn't. This apple has been cut and sitting out at room temperature for 15 minutes. Most apples would have turned brown in that time. Not the Opal.

Funny, but on Rachael Ray's syndicated show last week, she used some Opals in whatever dish she was cooking and said hers had been cut an hour before and they were still picture perfect sitting in her mise en place bowl.

Would love to hear if anyone else has tried them...

I didn't know that about the oxidation, but I have tried them and liked them very much.  I use apples in my fruit salad for Xmas dinner - I'll add "Opal" to the shopping listing for apples.  

 

Edited by Kim Shook (log)
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On 12/7/2020 at 3:10 PM, Kim Shook said:

I didn't know that about the oxidation, but I have tried them and liked them very much.  I use apples in my fruit salad for Xmas dinner - I'll add "Opal" to the shopping listing for apples.  

 

Looked them up, as I've never heard of them. Grown in WA they are a cross between a Golden D and something called a Topaz, which doesn't ring a bell. They are supposed to be non GMO. I asked my husband, who does the shopping, if he's seen them, but he didn't think so. Our weekly (now bi-weekly) market in Berkeley usually has a good variety of apples. It could be they were there and he didn't notice or was focussing on the apples he knows. I don't like Golden D either, but this sounds interesting. If they are sold as far south as Bakersfield and as far east as @Kim Shookyou would think the Bay Area would have them on the shelves.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Katie Meadow said:

Looked them up, as I've never heard of them. Grown in WA they are a cross between a Golden D and something called a Topaz, which doesn't ring a bell. They are supposed to be non GMO. I asked my husband, who does the shopping, if he's seen them, but he didn't think so. Our weekly (now bi-weekly) market in Berkeley usually has a good variety of apples. It could be they were there and he didn't notice or was focussing on the apples he knows. I don't like Golden D either, but this sounds interesting. If they are sold as far south as Bakersfield and as far east as @Kim Shookyou would think the Bay Area would have them on the shelves.

 

 

The Opal apples have been sold at Trader Joe's for a few years.  I've bought them there and liked them. I haven't looked lately as I've been getting apples at the local farmers market.

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1 hour ago, Katie Meadow said:

I asked my husband, who does the shopping, if he's seen them, but he didn't think so. Our weekly (now bi-weekly) market in Berkeley usually has a good variety of apples. It could be they were there and he didn't notice or was focussing on the apples he knows. I don't like Golden D either, but this sounds interesting. If they are sold as far south as Bakersfield and as far east as @Kim Shookyou would think the Bay Area would have them on the shelves.

When I first saw them in the produce section, I dismissed them as Golden Delicious apples. But something about how the yellow skin just glowed made me stop and inspect them closer.

So you're right, it's possible your husband could have just walked by them.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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1 hour ago, Toliver said:

When I first saw them in the produce section, I dismissed them as Golden Delicious apples. But something about how the yellow skin just glowed made me stop and inspect them closer.

So you're right, it's possible your husband could have just walked by them.


Yep, I've had Opals. They're good.  I haven't had them enough to know how consistent they are, but what I've had were good.  
 

Fujis and Honeycrisps have been my "go to" apples for consistency, but they've been hit and miss for me recently.

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@andiesenji turned me on to Envy apples...crisp and sweet. 

However, I've had issues with consistency with them. When I buy them from Vons, they're exactly as they should be.

However, the Walmart Neighborhood Grocery Store started carrying them and it was hit and miss in terms of quality. I bought three Envy apples from Walmart and one was actually mealy. How do you ruin such a great apple? Learned my lesson there...don't buy produce, if you can help it, from Walmart. ¬¬

 

All of the Opals I've bought have been consistently great.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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25 minutes ago, Toliver said:

@andiesenji turned me on to Envy apples...crisp and sweet. 

However, I've had issues with consistency with them. When I buy them from Vons, they're exactly as they should be.

However, the Walmart Neighborhood Grocery Store started carrying them and it was hit and miss in terms of quality. I bought three Envy apples from Walmart and one was actually mealy. How do you ruin such a great apple? Learned my lesson there...don't buy produce, if you can help it, from Walmart. ¬¬

 

All of the Opals I've bought have been consistently great.

Mealiness in apples is almost always a matter of how long it has been since they've come out of cold storage.

It sounds like either a) your local Walmart has only middlin' turnover on produce; b) the produce staff aren't good at FIFO; or c) there's a supply chain issue.

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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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  • 2 weeks later...

i've been buying 'Silken' apples from a local farm for a few months, now. i mostly buy them as parrot treats, but they're quite nice. i don't see them being sold as a large commercial cultivar as they seem to bruise and brown easily, but they have a really intense aroma, almost like honey. i feel like the texture is similar to a honeycrisp, so some may or may not enjoy, and i dunno how well they'd stand up to a lot of cooking, but with thin slicing and a delicate handling they made a nice bowl of fried apples.

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  • 1 year later...
On 11/15/2020 at 10:20 AM, BeeZee said:

New variety of apple that I picked up at the supermarket, Lucy Glo (Washington State). They weren’t kidding when they described it as being red on the inside. It is fairly tart, not as much as Granny Smith, firm texture. I am enjoying with some cheese, it would probably be good for pie making if the texture holds up.

3284C56F-DA80-44B3-B17A-42C50E8A80AA.jpeg

 

I bought a bag of Lucy Glo apples at Trader Joe's today.  Two lb bag for $4.99.  They are very nice apples. Good sweet/tart balance. Not the crispest apple ever but not at all mealy.  The skins are a little tough or chewy.  Noticeable but not off-putting for me. 

I think the apple I just ate is less colorful than the one that @BeeZee shared 2 years ago and I had another one that was even paler so there seems to be some variability.

3FF8CE01-6419-4385-9D36-2DC2B5D44398_1_201_a.thumb.jpeg.34340daa6d224d9da0a2721173e494cd.jpeg

 

I gather there is a Lucy Rose sibling that's all looks and less flavor.  Not sure I'll be looking for them but I'll buy these again if I see them.

 

 

Edited by blue_dolphin
typo (log)
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