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Huzzah! Arkansas Blacks at Berkeley Bowl today!

oakjoan Nov 18, 2011 08:34 PM

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. Ruth Lafler RE: oakjoan Nov 18, 2011 11:47 PM

    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
      majordanby RE: Ruth Lafler Nov 20, 2011 09:25 PM

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

    2. hhc RE: oakjoan Nov 19, 2011 12:08 AM

      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. s
        srr RE: oakjoan Nov 19, 2011 12:09 AM

        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. Ruth Lafler RE: oakjoan Nov 19, 2011 12:15 AM

          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
            Ruth Lafler RE: Ruth Lafler Nov 20, 2011 01:54 PM

            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
              rworange RE: Ruth Lafler Nov 20, 2011 08:22 PM

              Did you ask what other markets where he sells?

              1. re: rworange
                Ruth Lafler RE: rworange Nov 20, 2011 08:37 PM

                Danville and Cupertino, IIRC.

            2. re: Ruth Lafler
              mdougherty RE: Ruth Lafler Oct 7, 2012 03:25 PM

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

            3. w
              wintersweet RE: oakjoan Nov 19, 2011 08:57 PM

              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
                escargot3 RE: wintersweet Nov 20, 2011 12:39 PM

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

                1. re: escargot3
                  rworange RE: escargot3 Nov 20, 2011 07:51 PM

                  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: rworange
                    Ruth Lafler RE: rworange Nov 20, 2011 08:02 PM

                    LOL. I've done a couple of riffs on the Bowl Thanksgiving week http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2446...

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                      rworange RE: Ruth Lafler Nov 20, 2011 08:25 PM

                      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.

              2. c
                Claudette RE: oakjoan Nov 20, 2011 04:10 PM

                Olson's Cherry Orchard Stand had them last week (about $2.49/lb) and they were great. They've also got some new (to me) ones: Pinata, Ambrosia, and Sonya. Good for eating, but I haven't tested them for pies yet.

                1. fruti RE: oakjoan Nov 22, 2011 06:59 AM

                  Farmer Joe's on Fruitvale in Oakland has organic ones.

                  1. operagirl RE: oakjoan Nov 22, 2011 10:37 AM

                    Bought some at Rainbow Grocery yesterday. They look like something out of a Rembrandt painting! Don't taste too bad, either =)

                    Rainbow Grocery
                    1745 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103

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