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Nov 18, 2011 08:34 PM

Huzzah! Arkansas Blacks at Berkeley Bowl today!

I have been scouring BB and Monterey Market for the past month looking for my absolute all-time favorite apples - Arkansas Blacks. I've been making do with Cameos - quite nice. Every time I went to Berkeley Bowl since the beginning of November, I've searched or asked if they were in yet. Negative every time. Today, I didn't ask, but I was figuring that soon I'd have to admit defeat and give up. They'd never been this late before.

Encore de huzzah! There they were, I grabbed about 10 of them and put them in my cart.

After dinner tonight, my dessert was AB. I offered a taste to my husband (albeit grudgingly) but he just said that he didn't see what the big deal was. Thoughts of divorce swam in my mind. Then I thought of something my father used to say when we turned down anything: "All the more for me!"

I just finished my first one and it was every bit as tart, crisp, and tough of skin as the ones I remember from last year and the year before that and the year before that and.....wah? Was I out long?

Best, Oakjoan

Berkeley Bowl
2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

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  1. You're right, it's late. IIRC the Hillview Farms guy at the Jack London Square market had them a couple of weeks ago (seriously, this guy is the most under-rated grower in the Bay Area, I guess because he doesn't do any of the chi-chi high-profile markets).

    The first AB I had I was really disappointed at how dry and woody it was. Then one year I discovered that they're much better when they've been stored for a while (as some apple varieties are).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      you're absolutely correct about Joe (hillview farms) - his farm produces fantastic variety - cant find that kind of apple variety in most markets.

    2. I didn't know you were looking for them or I would have posted earlier. I found Arkansas Black apples $2/lb at the Saturday Palo Alto Farmers Market on Gilman & Hamilton back on Sat 11/5/11 (Hrs 8am-12noon). Booth was Hale's Apple Farm in Sebastopol, CA.

      1. My husband picked a few for us a couple of weeks ago at the Ferry Plaza they were awesome. I just saw some at Canyon Market in Glen Park SF today. Love those crunchy apples!

        Canyon Market
        2815 Diamond Street, San Francisco, CA

        1. There aren't any Arkansas Blacks in this photo, but there are Black Twigs -- an Arkansas Black cross. This is just a small portion of the more than 20 varieties of apples he had that day.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            He had Arkansas Blacks today, as well as quite a few other antique varieties. One of the many things I like about his is the info he provides for each variety. Next Sunday is probably his last day of the season. I wish more people would go and support him!

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Did you ask what other markets where he sells?

            2. re: Ruth Lafler

              Resurrecting this thread, Joe had Arkansas Blacks (plus many other varieties) today at the Jack London Market.

            3. Oh shoot! I've been looking for them too. (I used to live in Arkansas and that's where I had them for the first time.) Well, I doubt I'll have a chance to get them.

              4 Replies
              1. re: wintersweet

                Just got a big bag full today at the berkeley bowl.

                1. re: escargot3

                  Yeah, there were lots of Arkansas Blacks at Berekely Bowl today. They will probably be available a few weeks. However, I must have been insane to go to Berkeley Bowl the week of Thanksgiving. What a zoo.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Liked your Berkeley Bowl Thanksgiving week link. I think more of Monday-Wedtnesday Thanksgiving week as the problems. However, we were there one hour beflore closing tonight. It was the first intro of my family to Berkeley Bowl.

                      I tell my stepdaughter who is into flowers they have great flowers ... almost sold out. The bread actually was sold out with maybe a half dozen loaves on the shelves. They sadly handled and sniffed the tropical fruit which I've been warning them about since living in Guatemala would be outrageously priced in comparison to home and not that ripe.

                      At least the beer selection didin't disappoint. It is the first food thing that actually impressed one stepdaugher who has been pretty blase about the US so far. Her jaw actually dropped. They literally have six beers in Guatemala. The imports are less than a dozen.