Stuff Aesthetic Fascists Like: There is not another fruit that I love more than the apple. I am aware of its health benefits, which reinforces the adage about “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but the taste, above all, makes me loyal to this member of the rose family. Of course, apples are delicious on their own. They pair nicely with cheese or peanut butter. They yield a fantastic drinking cider. And they sweeten baked goods. The facts are staggering: there are 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States and 7,500 grow around the world. With so many choices, this apple-lover has picked (pun intended) three favorites.
Jazz provides the best evidence yet that modern apple development is pulling ahead of the traditional heirloom varieties. Jazz is a crisp hard apple with an excellent strong sweet-sharp flavor, and a pronounced fruity pear-drop note. The flavor undoubtedly puts it in the first rank of apples, and it is hard to think of a traditional variety that can compete with it. Jazz was developed in New Zealand in the 1980s. It is a cross between two other major apple varieties – Braeburn and Gala. This ancestry means that (like many of the best modern apples) Jazz inherits qualities from Cox’s Orange Pippin. The butter-yellow flesh is juicy, crisp and dense.
Honeycrisp is a modern apple variety, developed in the 1960s and introduced to the market in the 1990s – sometimes trademarked as Honeycrunch. It is increasingly available in supermarkets. Honeycrisp comes from a long line of apples developed by the University of Minnesota from the 1930s onwards. One of the objectives of this breeding programme has been to develop varieties which can tolerate the bitter cold of winters in some parts of the USA, and most plantings have been in the northern USA, including New England, Minnesota and Washington State. […] The flavour is sweet with very little trace of acidity and little depth or complexity. There can also be a trace of pear-drop flavour. In a good example this is a juicy and instantly refreshing apple, in a less good example it will be simply sweet and bland (but still very nice). As its name suggests this is genuinely a crisp / crunchy apple. However since the flesh is quite light, the crunch is surprisingly soft, nothing like the hard crisp crunch of a good Golden Delicious.
Tentation is a modern variety from France, derived from and very similar to Golden Delicious. The appearance is quite striking, being a light golden green apple with an attractive orange flush. The flavour is sweet and mellow.
It is apropos to conclude this blog post with Robert Frost’s poem.
Or just some human sleep.