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Solana Gold Gravenstein Applesauce

Spoony Bard Feb 13, 2008 08:47 AM

Oh, so this is applesauce.

Egads, this stuff is amazing! I've been ill lately, so I've been consuming much applesauce. Saw this Solana Gold Gravenstein Applesauce (organic) in my local run-of-the-mill supermarket in New York and thought, varietal applesauce without sweetener? Why not! Turns out this isn't just any varietal, it's an heirloom, Slow Food protected, Sonoma County local throwback apple.

The flavor is unreal- tart, sweet, and rich, with a winey, floral aroma. Like the perfect baked apple, but without anything additional added. They must have mashed the apples whole, as there are nicely contrasting textures of skin and possibly seeds thrown in. Not chunky as I usually prefer, but this makes up for it in pure deliciousness.

Here's a link to Slow Food, where the producer of the applesauce is listed on the left:


Fellow hounds, it's well worth seeking out. Does anyone else make applesauce from this varietal? I heard Santa Cruz does, but is it as good as the Solana?

  1. k
    KristieB Sep 16, 2009 06:07 PM

    My question is does it have that wonderful cooked flavor of homemade? Or is it just mashed up apples? I usually don't like commercial applesauce, but I'd give this a try.

    1. greygarious Sep 15, 2009 03:52 PM

      This is venturing into Home Cooking board territory, but on America's Test Kitchen they made applesauce (favorite readily-available apples were Jonathan, Jonagold, Rome, Macoun, and one I can't remember). Availability varies regionally. They explained that there are floral compounds in the skin of apples that contribute flavors to applesauce, recommending cookind them cored, chopped, but skin-on, then using a food mill. Good to know Mom was on the right track - she quartered them but didn't even core, and pressed them through a colander. I do the same, but have a food mill.

      2 Replies
      1. re: greygarious
        Melanie Wong Sep 16, 2009 08:57 AM

        Yep, here's Caitlin's old post on cooking down with the skin on.

        * * * * * * *
        Ninth Annual Chowing with the Hounds Picnic! October 3rd, 2009, details and registration info

        Chowing with the Hounds Picnic, 2008 Report.

        Recipes from the 2008 Chowing with the Hounds Picnic!

        1. re: Melanie Wong
          susancinsf Oct 4, 2009 09:06 PM

          It was interesting to see your post with the links to the picnic, because I made applesauce with the left over pieces of apple from the picnic tasting today...and of course, since they were already cut, I had no choice but to leave the peels on. Didn't have a food mill handy, but looked around for a likely tool, decided to use a potato ricer. So funny to read in your link nja's suggestion to do just that!

          report: It worked fine, the applesauce was delicious, and inspired me to make a nice roast pork dinner. Fall is finally here in Merced.

          Chowing with the Hounds picnic, 2009:


      2. p
        poot Sep 15, 2009 03:33 PM

        Solana Gold is indeed superior to every other apple sauce except what I make in my kitchen. But the flavored stuff is not remarkable: only the regular (not the organic) gravenstein apple sauce.

        1. Ruth Lafler Feb 13, 2008 09:42 AM

          Actually, Trader Joe's carries (or has carried) gravenstein apple sauce. I've never liked their version, though. In the Bay Area, gravensteins have traditionally been the preferred apple for apple sauce, but they're delicate and don't age well (which is why they tend to get made into apple sauce), so they don't get shipped out of the region much. I bought some gravenstein apple sauce last fall at Grocery Outlet that was delicious, but I can't remember the brand (not Solana, although GO has other Solana mixed fruit sauces).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ruth Lafler
            Ruth Lafler Oct 4, 2009 08:28 PM

            BTW, to update this post, Grocery Outlet had the brand I liked for a short while again this summer. It's called North Coast, and I think it's available regularly at Whole Foods.

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