Greetings Apple Lovers:
The season has started and we are going full bore!! It is amazing how rapidly many varieties are ripening, ahead of the norm. Some are as early as 3 weeks, others look to be on a normal schedule, but who knows, been a pretty wild weather year so far.
It is only August and think we have been thru 10 or 15 varieties already…..and for this week an old time favorite returns….Akane, the Japanese variety that is a cross between a Jonathan and Indo, also known as the Tokyo Rose….Akane, from the Japanese word meaning “bright” don’t know if that was referring to the flavor or the color….but it is a good one. The flavor profile is not as tart as a Jonathan, but pleasant for those who like sweet or tart. Also this week will have Ginger Gold, an early season favorite that is zippy but a good blend of sweet and tart. Ginger Gold are awesome for apple sauce, juicing or fresh eating. Will have Redfree, an interesting apple developed by Purdue Univ. meant to be red in color and “free of disease,” they weren’t overly creative with that name! And we really haven’t seen them to be that disease free…but they sure taste good!! Look a bit like Akane, flavor along those lines too, but just a little more sweet. Some markets will have Dandee Red, also known as Early McIntosh, it is actually a limb sport of a McIntosh, so fairly tart, great for baking, sauce or just eating for those of you with the tart gene. Some markets will have Pristine, the small yellow apple with the lemon-citrus flavor. Many of you bought them last week and love them, that is why only a few markets will have them, they are just about gone. I can’t forget, will also have some Italian Plums, which are really good dark purple “prune” plums.
What a great weekend this will be at the U-Pick in Ault….here is what is on the menu to be picked, Mollies, one of my all time favorites….a bright red apple with just wonderful taste (sweet), the way apples are supposed to be….I like them better than Honeycrisp. Kindercrisp, very, very sweet and crisp variety, if it wasn’t for their size (small) this would be the rage of the apple world and no one would even know what a Honeycrisp even is. Pink Princess, which are pink fleshed, very spritely, crisp and tart, one of our more unusual ones, just have a handful of that variety, but for those who pick them, in for a treat. Pink Pearl, another pink fleshed variety, one of the few that you might actually see at a grocery store, have seen there at specialty stores once in a while. They too are pretty tart and with an interesting flavor and beautiful pink flesh. Akane, as mentioned above…the Japanese variety, we left a few on the trees for those who want to pick some, most of those are heading to markets and other outlets (cider maker). Strawberry Parfait, a really unusual variety that smells and tastes like strawberries (when speaking of apple flavors, they are subtle). The only down side to this variety is it tends to have a soft flesh, but the flavor is amazing. Harlson, a Univ. of Minnesota variety that is pretty large, tri colored and pretty tart, used for baking, sauce and cider. And last but not least….Zestar, another Univ. of Minnesota variety, one that I would describe as “zesty,” had them at the markets last week, a very popular early season variety, left on the tree an additional week, the zestiness has mellowed and the flavor is much stronger…..was pretty amazed at the flavor, may leave them on the tree longer in the future instead of picking early, love the zestiness, but the mellow flavor would make a crazy good cider. This line up may be the best weekend of the season for the U-pick, still have lots of other varieties, but this weekend has an awesome good lineup, especially for early season.
Will also be selling some really tasty Red Haven and Red Globe Peaches at the U-pick store for a great price of $40 for a 20 lb. box, as well as $6 & $10 baskets. Hope to see you at the markets and/or U-pick orchard/store.