An Ode to Apples

Oh sweet Autumn’s jewel, so plump, so round, so luscious even in the dimming days and rainy nights.  Your place is always after the Summer’s sun, growing, thriving and fueling her energy for your own debut. You wow the crowd with your hidden gems and showstoppers:

There is the Granny Smith, green-skinned, tart, and always hard to the touch, but with some tender warmth the sour first impression becomes a distant memory and sweetens up.  This Australian jade might be tart to the mouth, but is a culinary stunner. It is never far from a charcuterie platter.  Its forte was always balancing the strong aromas of sharp cheeses and cured meats.

A sweet cousin to the Smith is Fuji.  A family favourite for its crispy body; this fruit has a history much greater than its four-lettered name can ever describe.  Its deceptive past begins in America. Its name is clearly Japanese, but this little hybrid superstar has American roots. Developed in a research center in Fujisaki, American Red Delicious and Virginia Ralls Genet were bred, inbreeded and grafted to become the Fuji we know today. While many believe this apple is named after the mighty Mount Fuji, its name is a legacy to the town that discovered it.  Its popularity is not surprising; this 20th century apple is known for its juicy crisp body, refreshing sweetness, and eye-pleasing pink-tinted outer coat.

And then we have the McIntosh; this Canadiana breed, discovered not long after the infancy of Canada, is a North American favourite.  Although it has a softer texture than the Smith and Fuji, the McIntosh has a “creamy” texture that is incomparable. This red and green patterned apple is perfect for making apple sauce. Beyond its place in the cookbooks, the “Mac” is also in the history books, not as the fruit but as the brand representing one of the world’s most distinctive computer, cell phone, tablet and icon.

You are truly an international fruit, from your humble beginnings in Kazakhstan and Turkey to now being grown worldwide.  Your tender body has done more than filling our tummies.  Your pectin makes jams possible and thickens our drinks.  You even keep the doctors away.  Your endless gift to the world is unearthly, and may you continue to blossom and your new breeds continue to pop up.

 

Forever eating you,
Lisa

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