How d'you like them apples?
May 8, 2008 1:39 PM   Subscribe

Beyond the McIntosh. The apple whisperer of New England.
posted by veedubya (21 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Great article. Thanks for posting this.
posted by cog_nate at 2:07 PM on May 8, 2008

Maine Apples
by Robert Peter Tristram Coffin
These things make Maine apples sharp
As sweet notes running up a harp:
Our winters close to flowers and fruits,
Enamel luster of our skies,
The sorrow in our frostflowers' eyes,
Brevity of our sudden summers,
Thunder drumming like bass-drummers
Below white Andes in the west.
Our hard soil gives our apples zest,
The spark-eyed chickadees' fast tune,
Wild sadness of the lonely loon,
The salt that blows in from the sea,
The bayberry, the rosemary,
Needles and knives of fir and pine,
Granite in the Maine State spine,
The wind that's never far away
Around the corner of a day,
The dance of secret polar light,
The quick beams of our sun at night.

In this apple in your fingers
The splendor of the Maine year lingers,
This globe arching your hand apart
Is Maine's cool and beautiful heart.
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on May 8, 2008

Mmm, fabulous. One of my favouriote childhood memories is of going to Chudleighs every autumn. Yumm, apples.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:12 PM on May 8, 2008

Another god damn Apple fpp?! I'm sick of it!

oh... wait.
posted by shmegegge at 2:26 PM on May 8, 2008

I love articles like this. It's so easy to think that the only varieties of fruits and vegetables are the mediocre ones found in grocery stores, which are chosen for their ability to withstand shipping and handling.

I read somewhere that a grocery store produce buyer said the only complaints he ever received for tomatoes were for color, never for flavor. They could be flavorless or mealy as long as they were red. I think that's changed in a minuscule way with the popularity of heirloom tomatoes.
posted by shoesietart at 2:59 PM on May 8, 2008

There was a great Harold McGee piece on apples (and the many many non-mass-cultivated varieties) in the NYT recently (registration-required? maybe pay? yuck, sorry).

Anyway, it was inspiring, but also made me feel sad about the narrow range of apples I can actually get at the supermarket.
posted by grobstein at 3:26 PM on May 8, 2008

The article was about the study of wild apple varieties here.
posted by grobstein at 3:28 PM on May 8, 2008

I have great memories of going apple-picking when I was growing up in New England, where the farms would also sell apple jellies, juice and donuts and you could make crisp and pie and cobbler or any number of delicious things.

Bacon enthusiasts are missing out.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:31 PM on May 8, 2008

Cool article, it's nice to see someone actually doing the leg work. Hopefully it will translate into increased availability.
When I was a kid we would go up to our friends ranch and pick several grocery bags full of green apples. My mom made excellent apple sauce. I've been spoiled for any store bought apple sauce since.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:44 PM on May 8, 2008

Maybe I'm just too used to keming problems on the Internet, but every time I see 'pomologist' in that article I do a double take.

Great post. Thanks.

P.S.: You get yourself a good, firm cooking apple, slice it a quarter inch thick, and fry it in the bacon grease. Dust with cinnamon, cloves, drizzle with molasses if you'd like. Bacon enthusiasts are not missing out as bad as you think.
posted by eritain at 3:45 PM on May 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

I just fell in love with eritain a little.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:00 PM on May 8, 2008

Fruit-related: mefite soulbarn on Fresh Air talking about bananas.
posted by milkrate at 4:08 PM on May 8, 2008

sorry about that last post -- i must have coded it wrong.
that quote is from a NYT article about the book "Renewing America's Food Traditions"
posted by radiofreewalsh at 4:15 PM on May 8, 2008

That is the only thing I've seen in years that's made me want to go out and eat apples.

Too bad I'm horribly allergic to them.
posted by Inversehelix at 7:49 PM on May 8, 2008

Hey! We got three Baldwin trees on our lot - they not dumb! They GOOD!

make very very good pies and applesauce. nom nom nom.
posted by yhbc at 8:00 PM on May 8, 2008

Dammit all. The apple tree won't be fruiting for another four months, and I want apples now! But all I have are these persimmons, and I hate the blasted things.
posted by 1adam12 at 3:10 AM on May 9, 2008

From my childhood I remember Winesap and Black Twig. More recently, a neighbor had a tree in her backyard of Kings -- huge apples specifically meant for baking.
Last week, in the supermarket, I saw Grapples. That is, apples of some variety or other that had been injected with grape juice for flavor. I do not lie.
posted by CCBC at 3:20 AM on May 9, 2008

In the region, and damned tasty if you a. like heirloom apples and b. like booze made from heirloom apples: Poverty Lane Orchards in Lebanon, NH. Their Kingston Black single-apple cider is to die for, and all the other varieties are pretty fantabulous, too.
posted by at 6:06 AM on May 9, 2008

I saw Grapples.

Feh. I recoiled the first time I saw those things. There's an Onion AV club review of them here.
posted by cog_nate at 6:25 AM on May 9, 2008

Also, dammit, I knew this was going to happen. I planted a few apple trees last year in friends' yards and community garden spaces (with permission) around my hometown. Only one died due to an unfortunate encounter w/a weedwhacker. The rest are thriving and should start fruiting in another year or two (semi-dwarfs). I didn't have the itch to do so this year, until reading this article and the comments in this thread. And now it's probably too late.
posted by cog_nate at 6:53 AM on May 9, 2008

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