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"Jazz"-ed up about apples

Fall usually means two things to me ... Apples and Football.

In years past, the former always meant lots and lots of Fujis.

But this year, I think I've discovered my newest apple passion ... the Jazz Apple.

If you like the Fuji (and I'm a long time devotee), then the Jazz is sort of like falling in love.

If the Fuji is crispy, then the Jazz is snappily crunchy.

If the Fuji is sweet, then the Jazz is like nectar.

If the Fuji is juicy, then the Jazz is aromatically succulent.

And you? Do you have a favorite apple variety? Or a newly discovered one?

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  1. I fell in love with Pink Ladies. Like you Fuji captured me long ago.
    When I tasted a Pink Lady, I was hooked. I still don't find them readily.
    Moreso just sporadically.

    I'd love to try your Jazz. Where have you purchased them?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Isabella

      I found the Jazz Apples at my local market, Safeway/Pavilions.

      1. re: Isabella

        I too love the pink ladies. I find they're more readily available later in the season.
        I liked Honeycrisps a few years ago. Now they seem a bit...watery? We went apple picking this past weekend and even right off the tree they weren't as good as that first batch.
        Haven't tried a jazz. Will keep an eye out.

      2. Have not tried the jazz, but I too, was (and still am) a long time Fuji devotee. I will happily look forward to finding, and trying the Jazz variety. The only variety I've found so far that is crunchier, sweeter, and juicier than the Fuji is the Honeycrisp. A variety that has a shorter season than most, but is, in a word, apple ambrosia. Please do try the Honeycrisp. When available, I generally eat four or five a day. Some will be tart, some will be sugar sweet, but all have an unmistakable snappy crunch, ultra light flesh, and a seemingly impossible amount of juice. The Honeycrisp almost defies the laws of physics. I have no idea how their flesh could be so light, but also so uber crunchy and pack so much juice.

        7 Replies
        1. re: gordeaux

          Yup. Best in the market.

          1. re: gordeaux

            Honeycrisps are my favorite too. They must be super fresh, though. I go get mine at the orchard and then gorge for a few days.

            1. re: Vetter

              Lol -

              I'm going to mine on Oct 12th. I ate a 10lb bag in like two days last year. Gotta find these Jazz apples though. Worth a try.

              1. re: gordeaux

                ipsedixit, have you seen the jazz website? i was also in love with jazz last year too, and i looked them up on the internet to learn more, only to find this!: http://www.jazzapple.com/

                what kind of apple has a website?!

            2. re: gordeaux

              I like the Honeycrisp as well, but I tend to prefer apples with a firmer, denser flesh, which is what drew me to the Fuji in the first place.

              The Honeycrisp is definitely in my Top 5 favorite apples, however.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I can understand denser, but firmer?
                I'll definitely have to try these jazzes. Honeycrisps are some of the firmest I have had. And I'll be the first to spit out a bite of apple, and toss the rest if it doesn't have serious crunch to it.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  What took you so long to change.
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3514...

              2. Having grown up on an apple orchard I'm sometimes surprised how much I love them. There were other examples of foods I ate a lot of as a child that I now hate, but apples...apples I have always loved.

                That being said, my favorite has to be the Braeburn. I do love a good Fuji but Braeburns are my favorite fresh. However, for a pie I do a combo of Fujis and Braeburns for a perfectly textured dessert. I can't wait to go home next week and pick some right off the tree!

                1. I think Jazz are my new favorites too. I tried them a couple of years ago, and feel the same way.

                  1. jazz sounds great. i love fuji apples. Does anyone see winesap any more? those used to be one of my faves, but never find it nowadays.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                      I will very happily eat fuji, honeycrips, pink lady, and jazz, but my all-time favorite is the cameo! When feeling nostalgic, I'll enjoy a golden delicious, and my least favorite is the plain jane red apple.

                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                        Oh man...winesaps used to be one of my very favorites. I remember when my dad pulled out our very few winesap trees to make room for something else (probably galas) - it was probably almost 20 years ago now - and I was devastated.

                      2. I like the Fuji, plus I can get them in the winter and they're still nice and crisp.
                        The Honey Crisps are also great, but my favorite is...

                        The Mutsu.

                        I was at a local orchard Saturday (bought McIntosh and Johnathan for apple butter - oh is my family happy right now) and was told the Mutsus would be available in mid October.
                        C'mon October!

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: Cookiefiend

                          Is the Mutsu the same as the Crispin? Greenish skin and a bit tart?

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            !!!

                            It is!

                            http://www.allaboutapples.com/varieti...

                            1. re: Cookiefiend

                              I'm going to have to try the Mutsu based on your rec.

                              Have you ever had the Jazz? If so, how does it compare with the Mutsu?

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                I've never had a Jazz - I hadn't even heard of it prior to your post.

                                Based on your rec, I'll be searching the local orchards and farmers markets looking for them.

                                I love a good crisp, juicy, sweet/tart apple!

                                1. re: Cookiefiend

                                  We'll have to compare notes.

                                  I'm going to try the Mutsu/Crispin and see how it compares to both the Fuji and Jazz.

                                  1. re: Cookiefiend

                                    Great minds think alike -- when I discovered Jazz apples I started a thread with a similar title (irresistible, I guess): "Anyone "jazzed" about new apple varieties?" -- http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/351466

                                    So far I think they're only growing them in Washington -- they're originally from New Zealand.

                                    Here's a long thread about favorite apple varieties: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/478342

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                      My apologies, Ruth, didn't mean to steal your thunder!

                                      Now, I'm sort of jealous. You've had nearly two years now to savor and appreciate the Jazz ...

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        You didn't steal anything -- I was just tickled that someone else did the same thing!

                                        At least Jazz apples are fairly easy to come by (in season) in Northern California. It's the darn Macouns that are only available from one grower for about two weeks that make me desperate.

                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                          What grower in California has Macouns? I didn't think anyone grew them out here. That would be worth driving for!

                                          1. re: LisaN

                                            Hillview Farms in Watsonville. He sells at the Jack London Square (Oakland -- Sunday) and the Danville and Vallco (San Jose/Cupertino) farmers markets. When I asked last Sunday, he said he should have Macouns this coming week.

                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8823...

                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                              What about a Cox Orange Pippen? I'd drive far and wide for that.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                Oh, I haven't had one of those for a couple of years (the folks who sold them at the farmer's market are no longer there). The color, the flavor, the scent--just incredible!

                                                Luckily, I do have a local orchard with Northerns Spys (the world's best pie apple to me!) Once the fall actually comes to Indiana (it's been in the mid-80s), and the N. Spys are available, I'll be making apple pie (N. Spy/Jonagold mix).

                                                BTW, I also liked the Wolf River apples, not so much for the flavor, but for the fact that they were the size of small planets!

                                                And I do love Staymans, Winesaps, and Stayman-Winesaps.

                                      2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                        Evidently great minds do think alike!

                                        Thanks for posting that Ruth - now I know to search for mostly red ones.

                                        This weekend The Great Jazz Hunt begins in Indiana...

                            2. Hmm these apples sound great! I have never heard of jazz apples before, nor seen them in grocery stores near me. I'll keep a better eye out.

                              1. "Comfort me with apples" - The Song of Solomon

                                I liked Pink Ladies a lot when I was in Australia, but have yet to enjoy one in the States. Here, I've gotten them mushy, and without the tang I found down under.

                                I love many apples. Macouns during the first 2 weeks they are available, when they are really tart.

                                Floral scented and enormous Mutsus.

                                Northern Spies with a snap to them that's not too agressive.

                                Arkansas blacks at the end of the season.

                                NY 529, which I haven't seen for years.

                                But my absolute favorites are Russets. With their rough brown skin and almost nutty tang, and their smell. Yum.

                                1. I may have missed the boat this year but Pink Pearl's are my go to favourite of the last few years. Short season (right about now) but the sharp tang of that pink flesh is worth it.

                                  These last few months have been so disrupted and what with moving away from my source of these apples I think I might have to wait until next year. I haven't seen them at any of my new shopping locations so I might need to take a trip back to the old locations to see if I can grab any before they disappear for the season.

                                  Not with standing the above, pink lady are good and I was also taken in by the Jazz apples when I came across them a few months ago.

                                  1. I never used to be a big fan of apples (probably because i had too many mealy macintosh varieties) , until I discovered Honeycrisps. I'm in Nova Scotia and they start selling them soon just off the stands around, and they're HUGE, so big I can't finish one, but they are a rare treat, and like another poster, i gorge on them :)

                                    I still like a nice firm Granny Smith though, sometimes with peanut butter.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: im_nomad

                                      Reading this made me think Granny Smith had gone out of fashion. Not with me! I love 'em, and Honeycrisp too.

                                      1. re: scuzzo

                                        I've had so many bad (sour, woody) Granny Smiths I've given up. I think if you can get them fresh off the tree they're pretty good, but most of the year they've been in storage too long.

                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                          I'll have to watch out for that. I haven't noticed a problem yet.

                                    2. So glad I saw your post! I picked up some Jazz apples from New Zealand at the supermarket, earlier this week. I put them in the fridge, and promptly forgot about them. Thanks to your reminder, I just took one out now, and really enjoyed its juiciness and crispness. My other favorites are Braeburns, especially from New Zealand, and Macouns. I used to love the Royal Galas from New Zealand as well, but those are hard to find. I don't like the domestic apples nearly as much. I like a good Macintosh early in the season, when it's still crisp. My least favorite are the red delicious.

                                      1. The Jazz are really good apples. I discovered them last winter after the last of the Honeycrisps were gone and I was crying to the produce man at my market about it. He cut open a Jazz and I was able to make it until this month on them! I still like the Honeycrips better - I think the Jazz in my area come from NZ and in my effort to attempt to be more "green", at least the Honeycrisp are grown in the US. Also love the Macouns if I'm up in New England where I can find them.

                                        1. My fav is Pink Lady, when there done I resort to Fuji and Gala. I'd like to try Jazz but, the greedy mega-mart charges 3 times that of all other apples. I'll wait till the emotional frenzy has calmed.

                                          1. I discovered Jazz apples earlier this year at the Taste London festival, which concentrates on locally sourced foods. So I guess they must be grown here too. I absolutely LOVE them! I think it might be the first time I have ever searched out an apple by name, as opposed by what they look like at the store. Yummy!

                                            1. ipsedixit, I am a huge HoneyCrisp fan and tried the Jazz this week on your recommendation...and am so glad I did!! Delicious! Crisp, sweet (but not too sweet) and the Jazz is now up there with HC and Fuji as a favorite! Thanks!!!!

                                              1. FOLLOW UP POST

                                                Ok, so this weekend I had a blind taste test of the Jazz, Honeycrisp and Fuji.

                                                Conducted totally blind ... I had my lovely tasting assistant cut and plate the apples while I was sequestered in another room watching the Michigan come back against Wisconsin. :-)

                                                Each bite was followed by a healthy swig of Evian to cleanse the palate.

                                                Here are the results:

                                                Best overall taste: Fuji. This surprised me, but the Fuji really did have the perfect balance of sweetness, tartness and overall fragrant "apple-ness". [Runner-up: Honeycrisp].

                                                Best overall texture: Honeycrisp. Crunchy with a good chewiness, but still very light and airy. Sort of like biting into a Ya-Li (Chinese pear), but a bit more "al dente" -- if that term is applicable to describing a fruit. [Runner-up: Jazz]

                                                Cheers!

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  Interesting!

                                                  I wasn't able to find a Jazz - not that I was surprised - so I'll continue to look.
                                                  I hope you like the Mutsus when they arrive!

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                    LOL!!!
                                                    SO TRUE ABOUT THE HONEYCRISPS!

                                                    I LOVE yalis as well. Another fruit I can eat non-stop. I'll eat like 5 a day when they are in season! Usually, when I ask ppl if they've ever had yali, they look at me like I have two heads.
                                                    Only on CH!
                                                    Great post.

                                                  2. I love Fujis, although last season I rediscovered Golden delicious (best eaten before they get truly golden) which had been a favourite when I was a kid.

                                                    Oh! Royal gala also rival a fuji at their best (but I think they can be a bit temperamental across the season whereas I think Fuji's are more consistent).

                                                    Also you can't go past a Granny smith for baking/stewing.

                                                    1. My favorite is the Arkansas Black and I can't find them anymore! I always describe them as "Sleeping Beauty" apples. They have a dark, dark, red, almost black skin and when you bite into them, a pure white, crispy, juicy flesh with a very flowery fragrance and taste. With that single bite gone they look so extremely enticing, like the apple that must have been given to Sleeping Beauty. When I found them it was in a little mom & pop produce stand in Oakboro, NC and they were in with crates of varieties from the mountains out around Asheville. I bought and ate tons of them! Then we moved to southwest VA and looked at a house to buy that had Arkansas Blacks on the property. If the house hadn't been such a wreck I'd have lobbied for that one because of the trees alone! Since then I've never seen the variety anywhere. We were actually closer to Asheville where we lived in VA but all the apple stands advertising mountain apples in the area never had the Arkansas Blacks.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: morwen

                                                        Don't give up hope for the year! Arkansas Blacks are a very late apple. Last year I bought a sack of them with my russets (mmm... russets) the week before Thanksgiving. I ate them past Christmas.

                                                      2. I tried a few a couple of days ago, crunchy, crisp but, not much flavor, almost tastless. I like PL's and Fuji much better.

                                                        1. My husband and I like Braeburns, Fujis, and Granny Smith. We grew up with horrible Red "Delicious" apples which weren't. We recently tried MacIntoshes again and discovered we like them. One of my husband's coworkers brought in apples from a place which carries 25 varieties. I don't recall whether Jazz was among them or not, will ask.