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Aug 12, 2011 09:15 AM

Sonoma Gravenstein Apples' Precarious Future

I hope this is the right place for this, since it does it seem to be a locally-targeted article in the Los Angeles Times (I guess timed with the Gravenstein Festival this weekend?)

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  1. Thanks for posting. The Gravenstein is part of Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste, along with lots of other great heritage foods that are currently in danger.

    1. I don't think Gravensteins are in any danger of becoming extinct. The organic farmer interviewed at the end can't grow enough to meet demand. Maybe most Americans "buy fruit with their eyes," but an increasing number of consumers will pay extra for better fruit and heirloom varieties with special characteristics. Just look at the variety regularly in stock at Monterey Market and the Berkeley Bowls.

      Berkeley Bowl
      2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

      Monterey Foods
      1550 Hopkins St, Berkeley, CA 94707

      Berkeley Bowl West
      920 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA

      1. Thanks for this. I would be heartbroken if there were no Gravensteins -- they are truly unique in their complex flavor and aroma.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Kim Cooper

          Where does Trader Joe's get its Gravensteins for their Gravenstein apple sauce, then? Are they buying up all the crop? My late mother in law moved to Berkeley in 1952 and lived there for 50 years. She adored her California fruits and veggies, especially Gravensteins. Food memories.

          1. re: jzzy55

            I seem to remember reading somewhere that Martinelli's is almost solely responsible for keeping Gravensteins going at a commercial level, as they are the apples Martinelli's uses for their cider and apple juice.

            1. re: TopoTail

              A lot of the Sonoma Gravensteins that are turned into juice or sauce are processed by Manzana Products, and they account for half the apples Manzana buys.

              Martinelli's in Watsonville, I'm not sure they buy any Sonoma apples. The only variety mentioned on their Web site is Newton Pippin:


          2. I bought some Gravenstein apples at the Civic Center Farmers Market Sum 8/14/11 from Macdonald's Organic Apple Farm, Sebastopol. $2/lb. I got 4 small ones for $2.40.