Pick up a fresh local apple at the farmer’s market and take a big sniff. Depending on the apple the aroma you’ll experience is a treat. A scent of natural spiciness and honeysuckle might hit your nostrils. Fresh apples at the farmer’s market make you realize that Fall has arrived. In contrast, the average apple buying experience in supermarket leaves much to be desired. The supermarket apples might look beautiful because they’re rinsed with water and waxed for protection but they won’t have that fresh apple scent or taste. Smelling such a waxy apple might reveal a cardboard like dull smell or nothing at all.
I have great memories of a well known restaurant that had rows of apples lined up on shelves in the foyer – it was a treat for the senses to arrive amidst the mesmerizing scent which put a hectic day in perspective and encouraged a beautiful evening to begin…
From the garden of eatin’
The variety of apples at our local farmer’s market is splendid. Some apples are good for eating out of hand where others make a good match for cooking. It always made sense to me to mix-up apples that have different flavor when it comes to baking or cooking. Here is a rundown on the apples at the market currently:
- Braeburn are perfect for eating out of the hand.
- Winesap apples have good acidity which is makes for a delicious taste when eating them raw but they are not a good fit for cooking as they seem to lose their punch.
- A golden delicious apple has a beautiful nose but a rather boring flavor - it’s ideal for cooking because it becomes naturally creamy when cooked.
- Tart Granny Smith apples or Gravenstein apples are terrific when tartness is needed in recipes such as pies and Strudel.
- Honeycrip apples are one of my favorite fresh eating apples - they’re juicy and full flavored.
- Cortland apples are a rather good match when grated into a carrot salad.
- Mutsu are rich and full flavored and have a dense texture.
- Empire apples are naturally creamy and juicy and ideal for raw consumption
- Fuji are almost too sweet and have a yellowish apple flesh and makes a mean apple sauce.
- McIntosh is a mild sweet apple - more of a filler than a star fruit.
- Northern Spy apples are hard and juicy with a tart flavor profile. These apples have thin skin and are therefore ideal for kiddos.
- Rome apples are good for baking in pies since they hold their shape and still keep a noticeable texture when cooked.
- Macoun apples are a delicious all around
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”
Apples are high in Vitamin C and are a rich source of antioxidants. Good timing as the fall brings the cold and flu season. I recommend leaving the skin on the apples (when eating raw) because most of their fiber content is located in the skin which helps digestion and may therefore reduce the risk of colon cancer.