Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Apple (and not the computer)

It wouldn’t be an issue if I actually liked them, but I’m not keen on apples.  Nevertheless, about a year ago, I decided to try and eat an apple every afternoon for a snack instead of candy or chips or whatever.  This has forced an overall reevaluation of the apple.  No, I’m still not thrilled with them, but it has proven to be a much smarter way to stave off the afternoon hunger pains.  My question now, though, is which variety of apple is least odious.  After a year’s analysis of some seven or eight varieties, this is what I’ve decided.

First of all, the hands-down winner in my year-long apple survey is that Honeycrisps are, by leaps and bounds, the most enjoyable variety.  For flavor, tang, crispness and size, The Honeycrisp is a great apple.  Unfortunately, they are not only more expensive than the other varieties—they are waaaay more expensive!  I ate my first Honeycrisp around October, so naturally I figured they were created for fall-like, caramel dipping, water bobbing, treat making activities.  At $2.99 a pound (and because they are so large, each apple is almost a pound), they quickly became a very expensive snack.   But maybe the price was seasonal, I reasoned?  Nope.  After a few dips to $2.49 in December, the price has stayed rather steady at nearly three bucks.   However, like some strange drug, I am addicted and no other variety satisfies anymore.  Looking over my unofficial notes, last spring I discovered Sonya’s and thought they were pretty good (and affordable) at the time but my first Sonya’s this year have an odd aftertaste, aren’t very sweet and are a bit mealy.  I haven’t seen any Jonagolds yet.  For some reason, they marked high on my list last summer but were only sold for about a month.  Also getting reasonable marks were Jazz apples, but my comments were not overwhelming praiseworthy.  Oddly enough, I think I only bought Granny Smiths one time and found them too tart…maybe I’ll try them again.

Despite their name, Red and Golden Delicious apples are anything but. Yeck.  Braeburns and Galas also ranked very low. There was one called Envy that I tried but, once again, you can’t judge an apple by its name. Of course, there are "eating" apples and "baking" apples, so some of the previously mentioned varieties may have their own fans.

For my individual preferences, I insist the apples spend a few hours in a refrigerator.  For awhile, I only ate them cut up with a sharp pairing knife, but I've since become lazy.  I think, I prefer red to yellow/green apples.  I’d like to see McIntosh apples in my grocery store, but I can’t say I’ve been able to try them in the last year. 

Unfortunately, Honeycrisps have spoiled me but I simply cannot afford them…plus it looks like their season is coming to an end.  If you have a suggestion, feel free to contact me.  Remember, my requirements are simple: Sweet, crunchy, firm, affordable and good cold.  Maybe I can track down that John Chapman fellow…or that “Eve” lady…..