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Nov 30, 2013 06:53 PM

Fancy-ass apples- anybody tried?

I've been getting ads bfor a couple of years for a small-orchard, 'artisanal' apple with exceptional flavor and very limited availability. I don't[ remember the name, but they're a green-skinned apple with a red blush interior and strawberryish sweet-tart flavor. My curiosity got the best of me this year, and I ordered some. Ends up being about $4/apple. But I must say, they're really, really exquisite and crisp and wonderful. If nobody here eats any that will be fine with me, because I LOVE THEM. And I'm not that big an apple fan, in fact I only like Granny Smiths, usually.I probably won't order them again, due to the cost, but my goodness, they're really exquisite. And I have never said that about apples before.

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  1. So many varieties of apples available these days, as well as extreme versions of familiar types. I saw some Red Delicious this year that were the size of grapefruits. I actually bought a few and they had all the flavor of cardboard.

    I've heard of red-fleshed apples but haven't tried them. One kind I've tried and liked is Arkansas Black. They are incredibly crisp.

    Among the more common names I'm partial to Honeycrisp and Fuji.

    13 Replies
    1. re: eclecticsynergy

      re: the Arkansas blacks i've has so far this year.

      the ones that i bought at Bristol Farms were terrific.
      the ones that i bought at Whole Foods were dry/mealy/NOT crisp.

      strangely, side by side, the two apples looked exactly alike.
      they didn't taste at all alike, though.

      1. re: westsidegal

        Could have been a difference in when they were picked. Unless the fruit is fully developed on the tree, you can't expect the full flavor to develop off the tree.

        1. re: Tripeler

          Wow, that couldn't be less true. There are several varieties of apples (and pears too) that must be held in cold storage to fully ripen and can't be brought to market until months after they are harvested. If you try to allow them to fully ripen on the tree they will simply rot, but they are hard and unpalatable when picked.

          1. re: acgold7

            ACGold -- Thanks for that insight. I had no idea this was necessary.

            1. re: acgold7

              What apple varieties are in that category?

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Two that come immediately to mind are Junami and Lady Alice, which actually build flavor in storage after being harvested in the fall.


                While the Lady Alices are fine, the Junamis are quite simply the most remarkable apples I have ever eaten.

                And of course I have overstated it. While these can be eaten right after harvest, they can definitely improve in storage. It isn't that they must be stored, as I originally thought, only that cold storage not only doesn't hurt them but actually allows them to improve.. They probably could be allowed to fully ripen on the tree. Unlike Bartlett Pears, which truly cannot be eaten straight from the tree -- we have several trees and you must store the fruit for weeks or months.

                1. re: acgold7

                  Thanks, I was familiar with the need to ripen pears off the tree, but it was a new concept for me re: apples.

              2. re: acgold7

                I fel certain that Granny Smiths are one of those varieties

          2. re: eclecticsynergy

            I love the Arkansas Blacks, too. I have never seen them at a store, though; I thought they were only to be found at the farmers market. They seem to keep pretty well, too.

            1. re: eclecticsynergy

              The Arkansas Blacks I got were from my local healthfood co-op, I think they were locally grown here in NY State, but am not positive.

              I know next to nothing about this variety; it may be that they don't hold very well once picked and lose their texture quickly. That could be one reason why they're seldom to be found in supermarkets.

              1. re: eclecticsynergy

                The Arkansas Blacks I buy direct at the orchard in Northern California on the day they're picked are some of the best keepers.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Good to know. Now all I need to do is to find some more of 'em..

            2. The Gelsons by my house had some $3 apples over the summer. The produce guy recognizes me (I go grocery shopping too much obviously) and always tries to get me to buy these "novelty" items.

              I did buy a few of them and like you said, they were exactly what you'd want from an apple. I don't remember the name but they were reddish skinned with yellow streaks, white flesh, very crisp. Kind of looked like a Gala. I was hesitant to buy, but the guy kept going on and on about them.

              They also carry these grapes that taste like cotton candy. Has anyone seen/tried them? They're fascinating. I would never buy an entire bag (they're like $10/lb) but I tried one of the samples and it was the strangest thing.

              4 Replies
              1. re: nothingswrong

                I've had the cotton candy grapes. They were delicious in a strange kind of way.

                1. re: nothingswrong

                  I bought 2 bagsful of the cotton candy grapes, and I was disappointed. They were fine grapes, but I'd need a few glassfuls of the liquid grape product to say they really tasted like cotton candy (just a very mild fragrance of cotton candy, p'haps).

                  1. re: pine time

                    I only sampled one in the store, but it was so cotton-candyish, it took me off guard.

                    My boyfriend was enamored and bought a huge bag but after he'd eaten through one bunch, he said he'd decided he hated cotton candy.

                  2. re: nothingswrong

                    I bought a bag of the cotton candy grapes at Gelson's as well. They were just too sweet for me, if that makes sense.

                    Great novelty item though and I'll bet they are great frozen.

                  3. Shame the OP doesnt recall the name, sounds like it'd be an apple to look out for. Although I doubt whether I'd be wanting to pay that sort of money for a single apple - a kilo, yes, but not just one.

                    So many varieties grown but so few generally available in supermarkets, so it's always of interest to see a new one available.

                    1. Another favorite is the Wolf River apple, but I don't think it is a new fancy apple -- I am thinking it is an old heritage apple. Anyway, great big, nice to eat or to cook with, not too sweet.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: DebinIndiana

                        According to a Mennonite farmer, who grows apples, including Wolf Rivers, they are not eating apples. They are grown for extending the filling in pies, much as turnips were used to extend the filling in pies during the Second World War with rationing and all.

                        Too many fine tasting apples out there to be eating extenders. That being said, 'de gustibus non est disputandum'.

                        1. re: DebinIndiana

                          I canned some wonderful Wolf River applesauce this year.

                        2. Many of these apples are new to me. We have many apple orchards here in NJ but I'm not familiar with these.