Friday, September 23, 2011

Oh Those First Bites

There are apples we can get all year round. No, not the dull and tasteless Macintosh or Red Delicious [sic]. Nor am I referring to the tasty and always dependable Fuji, Gala, or Braeburn. These are far more ubiquitous and fortunately for apple lovers available from far and wide almost all year. (Don't think about the fuel costs, eating locally, etc. at this point. This is a love story!)

But then there are the still seasonal apples, the ones we have to wait many months to taste until they ripen in their regular time. There are two for me that send me into a buying frenzy when they appear in the local grocery store. They are (sort of) local apples. They have both been developed by the University of Minnesota. They are the fruit of Eden, the taste of a virtual paradise. They give Fall a reason for its very existence.

And they have just become available in the last 10 days.

First is Honeycrisp released in 1991.

I fell in love with this wonderful apple. That first bite of a fresh, in season fruit is indescribable. It is the Minnesota State Apple!

The other is only 2 years old- the incredible SweeTango.

When this amazing apple was released to the market two years ago we got all the hype of a new product around here. I bought one - and they are not small apples - and the first rush of taste was almost like a taste-bud revelation. As people commented, the name comes from the dance the taste does on your tongue along with the mix of sweet and tangy! (It is a breed developed from the Honeycrisp.)

I am glad these are not available all year round. These are special apples. They deserve this special autumnal place. I savor them more and keep my apple palette alive the rest of the year with the other tasty cultivars. I suppose as time moves on we will have more availability from overseas or long-term stored fruit. But that first fresh taste is unbeatable. One can almost taste why the Christians of the Middle Ages, so aware of lust and sin, said the Tree in Eden was an apple.

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