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What the AJ staff is eating this week
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Growers- Send us a couple of samples of your best. It's a great way to get free publicity for your orchard and farm market on Apple Journal. If we decide to photograph your apples you'll get use of the images for your website or brochure. Our mailing and UPS address is on the bottom of every page.
Readers- Let us know what you are eating this week and vote for your favorite variety
Editor's Choice- visit the Editor's Choice page to see the results of our own testing from last year.
September 15-30 2001: This is the time of year when the different varieties of apples are just pouring into the office and it is hard to name them all here.
We have been cooking with Gravenstein, Bramley's Seedling, Beacon and Redfree. The Gravenstein seems to be working best for pies, and Redfree cooked down nicely for apple butter. Beacon went into a relish, and fried up for a pancake topping. We just got Rhode Island Greening in and will be cooking with those this week. The last two weeks has been a non-stop taste test for fresh eating apples. Tolman Sweet are in and they are excellent. Cox's Orange Pippin are very good, as usual. Opalescent has been a surprise; sweet and juicy and much better than in years past. I think we got them at just the right time. Opalescent is a big beautiful apple. The Fameuse are also better than ever, with their distinctive juicy tartness and hint of spiciness. Winter Banana, Macoun, McIntosh, Jonathon, Maiden Blush, and Golden Noble are all great this year.
September 1-15 2001: We had an interesting week attending an orchard preservation conference in Traverse City with John and Phylis Kilcherman. Tom Burford, reknowned expert on heritage apple varieties, brought a number of apples for taste testing, including Ashmead's Kernel, Golden Pearmain, Summer Rambo, Smokehouse, Detroit Red, Ribston Pippin, Hewe's Crab, Swiss Gourmet, Cox's Orange Pippin, Arkansas Black (from last year and still good), Duchess and Calville Blanc. We rated Cox's Orange Pippin, Calville Blanc and Swiss Gourmet the best.
As always this time of the year we are eating a lot of Ginger Golds from King Orchards. Honeycrisp is starting to come in. Pristine is doing remarkably well for an early apple. We have some that are 3 weeks old and still excellent. They were grown by Glenn and Sue Brown, Omena, Michigan. Gravenstein is a slightly tart variety with a unique flavor, very crunchy and juicy. We got ours from the Kilcherman's.
A truckload of apples just arrived from John Eastman's orchard. There are about 50 varieties new to us on hand.
August 2001: The leaves are beginning to turn in northern Michigan, and the apples are coming in. We were especially pleased with a variety that was new for us, Pristine. Glenn and Sue Brown of Omena, Michigan, and Don Hill from Montrose Orchards in Montrose, Michigan provided samples for us to try.
Other varieties we have been eating and cooking with are Duchess from Friske Orchards; Ginger Gold from King Orchards; Lubsk Queen, Biegtigheimer, Duchess, and Sops of Wine from Christmas Cove Farm; and Summer Treat, Earliblaze and Jersey Mac from Versil White.
October: Ah, aren't we lucky? Reason number 1- Tolman Sweet from Ken and Julie Kamp; 2- Swiss Gourmet from Sue and Glen Brown; 3- Grimes Golden from John and Phyliss Kilcherman. We also have some Zabergau Reinette on hand, as well as Fameuse, Opalescent, Cox's Orange Pippin, and 2 or 3 each of 40 other varieties. The big surprise this week was how well Tolman baked up into pies.
Honeycrisp, and Braeburn from Friske Orchards
Hoople's Antique Gold, and Roxbury Russet from Sonoma Antique Apple Nursery
Mutsu, Empire from Friske Orchards;
Redgold, Wilkson, and Roxbury Russet from Sonoma Antique Apple Nursery. Good apples :)
Orleans Reinette, White Pearmain, Sweet Delicious from Sonoma Antique Apple Nursery All three varieties are excellent. Sweet Delicious is a new one for us and is a pleasant surprise.
Honeycrisp, Empire from Friske Orchards;
Sierra Beauty from Sonoma Antique Apple Nursery
Honeycrisp, Jonathon and Jonamacs from Friske Orchards;
Galas from King Orchards; Spartan and Honeygold from Altonen's; Golden Russet from Versil White
Jonamac from Cherry View seems to be getting better and better in the 'frig and are not bad at all- nice and crisp, tart, lots of juice. King Orchards has a few Honeycrisp and they are superb, as are their Galas.
This week we are eating Macoun, Wealthy, and Strawberry Chenango apples from Spicer Orchards; Honeycrisp from Anderson and Girls in Stanton (Michigan); and Jonamac from Cherry View
Spicer's Macouns are just perfect. Possibly the best apple we have tasted this year. Wealthy is better known as a baking apple, but we munched away on a few from Spicer's. They are really juicy and crisp, but sharply tart and tangy and not for the faint-of-heart.
This is Anderson's first year to harvest Honeycrisp and they have an excellent crop. Right off of the tree they were really good, and I suspect they are improving in the cooler. Honeycrisp is always in the running for top ten in our taste test.
Jonamac is a relatively mild apple. It is crisp and juicy with a texture similar to McIntosh.
A short trip downstate to John Eastman's Orchard in Wheeler gave us the opportunity to taste over 50 varieties. Pomme Gris, Golden Nugget, Palouse, Seaconk Sweeting, Orleans Reinette, Golden Pippin, Canada Reinette and Detroit Red stood out. Especially good were the Golden Nuggets which are reminiscent of Cox Orange Pippin.
See complete list.
August 24- Labor Day-
Tydeman Red -Brian Altonen;
Summer Treat- Versil White;
Ginger Gold- The Dawsons;
Jersey Macs- The Friskes
The Ginger Golds are exceptionally good this year; big, juicy and on the tart side. The Tydeman is one of our early favorites. It has an old-fashioned wine-like syrupy flavor. Versil White's Summer Treats were a pleasant surprise. They are crisper with more juice and flavor than last year. Jersey Mac can sometimes be an excellent variety, and the Friskes grew some good ones this year.
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