Save the Gravenstein Apple - Bay Area restaurants serving them in August
While doing an gravenstein apple crawl in the Sebastopol area, K & K orchard handed me a pretty postcard with an apple crate sticker that Slow Food was giving out.
Here's a link on the situation
From thousands of orchards in Sonoma County, there are only a few left. The apples are not as profitable as vineyards.
It has been at least a decade since I've been in the area with the orchards. After hearing this, driving down the road, it was true. Where apple trees once grew, there were now grapes.
Anyway Slow Food has a list of restaurants that will have Gravenstein Apple dishes in August. It includes lots from all over the Bay Area such as Ad Hoc, Jardiniere, Cesar, Chez Panisse, etc
Here's the list
Hope people will order and report back on their Gravenstein dishes this month.
So far I've had swell Gravenstein cider and Gravenstein strudel at Kowlowski, a nice Gravenstein pie at Mom's Apple Pie. Andy's is selling Gravenstein cider. Screamin Mimi's didn't have apple ice cream yet. Now I need to look around the East Bay.
I haven't seen Gravenstieins on any menu yet, but Berkely Bowl is having a sale on BB organic unsweetened Gravenstein applesauce. It is $1.69 and has a nice taste and texture.
I called Village Bakery in Sebastopol to ask what the bread of the month is for August and also asked if they have anything Gravenstein. They have Gravenstein tea bread and the apple pie is currently being made with local Gravensteins.
I bought some at the Ferry Plaza market on Tuesday. I also bought some at Civic Center last Wednesday. From the quality of the apples, I'd say the season won't be over for a couple more weeks -- remember it's been a cool summer, and much of the produce is running behind schedule and/or has a more drawn out season. In case people are wondering, the reason there's so much emphasis on the season for Gravs is that unlike many apple varieties they don't store well. At all. They need to be eaten or processed within a few days or they get mushy.
The best grav applesauce I've has is the North Coast brand, which according to the Chron is available at Whole Foods (I keep an eye out and buy it at Grocery Outlet when I see it -- it comes and goes quickly, IIRC just before the start of the new apple season when they're clearing out inventory for the next crop, this year it was last month).
re: Ruth Lafler
I've had luck so far storing the Gravs, perhaps since they were direct from the farm and they went immediately into the crisper drawer when I got home. Also, I dedicated a drawer to the gravs just ito be safe of reactions between different veggies. So it has been about two weeks for me and so far so good. They still taste farm fresh.
My mother for over 30 years bought lots of Gravensteins direct from farmers (she cans her own applesauce, and that is the best applesauce I have ever had), and they seem to last pretty well in the fridge for several weeks. When they start to soften, if they do before you run through them, you can always cook them up instead of eating raw. Isn't their fragrance a lovely greeting when you open that drawer?
She and the friend she made the annual Sebastopol apple-buying trip with found fewer Graventein orchards to buy from each year as they all converted to vineyards. The friend now has a mature Gravenstein tree at her place in Mendocino County, guaranteeing her (and my mother if she's lucky) a supply, but for those of us without a personal resource, you are right that remaining active consumers is the best way to guarantee that we continue to have the opportunity. Thanks for the Slow Food link.