“You & I can count the seeds in an apple, but only God knows how many apples are in each seed”
There’s something so heart warming about the aroma of apples cooking in the kitchen! Maybe it’s because of the memories of childhood when, as a little girl, I would “help” my mom & grandmother peel the buckets of apples on my great-grandma Pearl’s farm. I remember watching great-grandma Pearl put an apple in her hand sitting out on the front porch of her little farmhouse. Then, she would peel it as she spun the apple around and around in her hand. When she finished the entire apple, there would only be one very long piece of apple peel that would drop into the big pile of peels, as the apples made their way to the canning kitchen. Although I tried and tried to “get the big long peel” as a youngster, I’m only just now attaining that great skill 😉 Perhaps it’s the knowledge that Autumn, which is my favorite season of the year, is finally here that makes the onset of apple season so special? Or, could it just be the anticipation of getting a little taste of the delicious dish of apple goodness that is baking in the oven? Knowing me and my nostalgic outlook on life, I’m sure it’s a mixture of all of the above 😉
Even though great-grandma Pearl has long since passed, and I don’t currently have my own orchard, each year our family travels a few miles up North to pick apples at our favorite orchard. We usually wait until the end of October, but this year we decided to go up with some friends to see what we could find earlier in the season. I was amazed to find so many different types of apples available! I guess our trip will be an earlier one from now on, because when we wait until the end of October, most of the variety is already gone. But, that’s not to say that we can’t go up more than once and make the season last as long as possible 😉
I just love going to the apple farm, because besides apples, they have so many other things to see, smell, and taste! There’s the rows of corn stalks lined up like a marching band along the children’s corn maze, keeping the little ones continually guessing how they’re going to find their way out. There’s crate after crate of colorful pumpkins, guards, and squash, and I think the bunches of Indian corn must have every color imaginable, because they aren’t just brown & red anymore! And I mustn’t forget the luscious aromas that escape out of the big red barn, and somehow find their way right to our little noses! The scents of popcorn, cotton candy, apple cider, chocolate fudge, fresh baked donuts, and caramel apples all seem to mingle together and scream come & find me… and of course we must!
Even though I know what “type” of apple that I like the best, when we get to the farm, we still have to ask the same question every year – which is the best kind of apple for eating, and which is the best for baking?
Since I ask this question every year, I thought you might face the same questions when you get to the store, apple orchard, or farm stand in your area. So… I wanted to put together a little list of the different kinds of apples, their descriptions, and what they might be best suited for.
* My little secret… I love a crisp, tart, apple that is great for both eating & baking – so Jonagold wins the “Apple of my Eye” award 😉
Jonagold: An apple that is both tart and sweet. It’s firm texture makes it one of the world’s most preferred eating apples
Golden Delicious: Mild sweet flavor – eating, salads and apple sauce
Cortland: Tangy Taste – snacking, salads, and baking
Empire: Unique sweet/tart flavor, crisp and juicy – eating and salads
Ginger Gold: Sweet but mildly tart – eating and salads
Golden Delicious: Mild sweet flavor – eating, salads and sauce
Honey Crisp: Big juicy and sweet – great eating apple
Ida Red: Highly flavored and crisp – eating and baking
Jonamac: Sweet/tart flavor – eating and sauces
McIntosh: Juicy tangy and aromatic – Most popular eating apple
Macoun: Mild tart taste firm apple – snacking and fresh desserts
Northern Spy: Tart apple – eating, sauces, baking
Red Delicious: Juicy and sweet taste – eating and salads
Rome: Firm mildly tart flavor – Perfect for baking and sauce, keeps very well