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(Mother Jones)   For some, it's a half dozen of this or a half dozen of that, but you're only getting five at your supermarket   (motherjones.com) divider line 74
    More: Interesting, supermarkets, bleats, Henry David Thoreau, sustainable agriculture, Rotary Club, natural kind, Cooperative Extension Service, Johnny Appleseed  
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9023 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Jul 2013 at 2:32 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



74 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-07-06 10:31:21 AM
I'm not sure I can even get five. How many customers, offered only the top three varieties, would refuse to buy an apple out of loyalty to their favorite? We had an article describing how that is Trader Joe's general policy: only stock a few kinds of each thing to cut overhead.
 
2013-07-06 10:34:04 AM

ZAZ: How many customers, offered only the top three varieties, would refuse to buy an apple out of loyalty to their favorite?


If my only options are red delicious or granny smith, more than likely I won't be buying apples.
 
2013-07-06 11:07:54 AM

Aarontology: If my only options are red delicious or granny smith, more than likely I won't be buying apples.


I grew up eating only those, because that's what was available. So I never really liked apples that much. I thought they were OK, but nothing I just went crazy over. Then a few weeks ago, I tried some Honeycrisp and couldn't believe how good they were. Now I have to have apples every time I go to the grocery, and I usually try any new kind I see. I hate that I missed out all those years!
 
2013-07-06 11:26:30 AM

ZAZ: I'm not sure I can even get five. How many customers, offered only the top three varieties, would refuse to buy an apple out of loyalty to their favorite? We had an article describing how that is Trader Joe's general policy: only stock a few kinds of each thing to cut overhead.


Many of these varietals won't ever likely be destined for widespread distribution through supermarket chains, but that isn't the point.  Just cultivating them again and selling them through farmer's markets is enough to make sure that they don't ever completely disappear.  There's enough demand from the foodie crowd to rescue a lot of heirloom crops and livestock, and anything that results in increased agricultural biodiversity in the face of an increasingly corporate agricultural industry is a good thing.
 
2013-07-06 11:54:26 AM
Come to Fairway. I think they have a dozen.

/Team Jonagold!
 
2013-07-06 11:58:06 AM

skinnycatullus: Aarontology: If my only options are red delicious or granny smith, more than likely I won't be buying apples.

I grew up eating only those, because that's what was available. So I never really liked apples that much. I thought they were OK, but nothing I just went crazy over. Then a few weeks ago, I tried some Honeycrisp and couldn't believe how good they were. Now I have to have apples every time I go to the grocery, and I usually try any new kind I see. I hate that I missed out all those years!


Same here, growing up. I love the variety now days, but you have look local. I have a good retired friend who loves a good apple and grows beautiful but not commercial apples on his farm west of the gap in Penn

/gets apples from Delicious Orchards. Bonus: Laird's Apple Jack is just down the road
 
2013-07-06 01:18:52 PM

JerseyTim: Come to Fairway. I think they have a dozen.

/Team Jonagold!


s3-media2.ak.yelpcdn.com

For the Long Island crowd.
 
2013-07-06 01:24:56 PM
"Blue Peahmain," she marveled. "My ma had one in her yahd."

Sounds painful.
 
2013-07-06 02:36:06 PM
Local Hy-Vee has 8-12 varieties of apple, some locally grown.

I pooh-pooh the article.

Red Delicious are not what they used to be. Honey Crisps are good.
 
2013-07-06 02:36:50 PM

skinnycatullus: Aarontology: If my only options are red delicious or granny smith, more than likely I won't be buying apples.

I grew up eating only those, because that's what was available. So I never really liked apples that much. I thought they were OK, but nothing I just went crazy over. Then a few weeks ago, I tried some Honeycrisp and couldn't believe how good they were. Now I have to have apples every time I go to the grocery, and I usually try any new kind I see. I hate that I missed out all those years!


This
 
2013-07-06 02:37:44 PM
ROYAL GALA UP IN THIS PIECE..... WHAT
 
2013-07-06 02:37:54 PM
Who really gives a fark when Honey Crisps are in season?  So good when chilled on a stifling hot day like today.
 
2013-07-06 02:38:23 PM
Fark apples, bring me crates of these instead.

farm4.staticflickr.com
// apples are at near the bottom of my fruit ranking. Yeah, I eat apples, but I'm never like, damn, I need to get me some more apples because that was delicious. Yes, even honeycrisp is just an apple to me.

// I grew up with guava, soursop, passionfruit, mango and papaya trees in my grandmother's yard, and a variety of other delicious fruits that I can't get here in the US, so I might be biased a bit.
 
2013-07-06 02:43:23 PM

lordargent: / I grew up with guava, soursop, passionfruit, mango and papaya trees in my grandmother's yard, and a variety of other delicious fruits that I can't get here in the US, so I might be biased a bit.


You can find all of those in the U.S..  Well, the soursop might be a little tough.
 
das
2013-07-06 02:43:50 PM
In NE Ohio try a Pink Lady!!!
 
2013-07-06 02:46:55 PM
I imagine it is because most of them don't look nice on the shelf. People don't like weird or deformed looking fruit.
 
2013-07-06 02:48:31 PM
I am dumbfounded as to why the red "delicious" apple dominates the market so well. Red delicious apples, frankly, SUCK. They are mealy, mushy, and have no acidity or flavor other than sweet. Simply awful apples, I've never had a firm tasty red delicious. They're bad for eating, and bad for baking. Fujis, Pink ladies, and honeycrisps, on the other hand... why don't these apples dominate the market? I just don't get it.
 
2013-07-06 02:51:13 PM
Huh.  Maybe it's because I've lived in Michigan all my life, but I've never had the problem the article is talking about, unless I try to get all my produce at Wal-Mart or some other national chain.  With most of the local grocery chains, it seems like there's a new type of  Johna Honey Ida Gold Delicious in the apple bins every month, and the local orchards advertise about 20 different varieties that you can go pick yourself.  Yes, we have a steady supply of Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith in the produce aisle, but they still rotate in a bajillion other varieties depending on the season.
 
2013-07-06 02:52:15 PM
 
2013-07-06 02:52:37 PM
With Apple Hill only '26 minutes' from my house, the supermarket is my last resource for apples.
 
2013-07-06 02:52:49 PM

Tunacrab: I am dumbfounded as to why the red "delicious" apple dominates the market so well. Red delicious apples, frankly, SUCK. They are mealy, mushy, and have no acidity or flavor other than sweet. Simply awful apples, I've never had a firm tasty red delicious. They're bad for eating, and bad for baking. Fujis, Pink ladies, and honeycrisps, on the other hand... why don't these apples dominate the market? I just don't get it.


I concur.

Red delicious apples are worst apples.

/love me some granny smith or honeycrisp
//thanks subby. Interesting link.
 
2013-07-06 02:53:14 PM
tl: bored me to tears
 
2013-07-06 02:53:54 PM

Tunacrab: I am dumbfounded as to why the red "delicious" apple dominates the market so well.


Because pretty.  Our eyes eat before our tummies.
 
2013-07-06 02:54:00 PM
That's one major thing I miss about living in NJ / working jobs in upstate New York.

Cortland apples.  farking loved cortland apples.
 
2013-07-06 02:54:20 PM

inclemency: Tunacrab: I am dumbfounded as to why the red "delicious" apple dominates the market so well. Red delicious apples, frankly, SUCK. They are mealy, mushy, and have no acidity or flavor other than sweet. Simply awful apples, I've never had a firm tasty red delicious. They're bad for eating, and bad for baking. Fujis, Pink ladies, and honeycrisps, on the other hand... why don't these apples dominate the market? I just don't get it.

I concur.

Red delicious apples are worst apples.

/love me some granny smith or honeycrisp
//thanks subby. Interesting link.


This
 
2013-07-06 02:54:45 PM
There are some awesome varieties in northern michigan that have to be hand picked and bruise too easily to be shipped long distances.
 
2013-07-06 02:55:24 PM

Tunacrab: I am dumbfounded as to why the red "delicious" apple dominates the market so well.


Because consumers find it appealing to see something in the produce section that's so big, shiny, and deep red.

After they buy it and take it home, who cares if it's any good for eating?
 
2013-07-06 02:58:26 PM

das: In NE Ohio try a Pink Lady!!!


Hm...sounds sexy.

Do they have apple bottoms? Because count me in.
 
2013-07-06 03:00:17 PM

Fast Moon: Huh.  Maybe it's because I've lived in Michigan all my life, but I've never had the problem the article is talking about, unless I try to get all my produce at Wal-Mart or some other national chain.  With most of the local grocery chains, it seems like there's a new type of  Johna Honey Ida Gold Delicious in the apple bins every month, and the local orchards advertise about 20 different varieties that you can go pick yourself.  Yes, we have a steady supply of Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith in the produce aisle, but they still rotate in a bajillion other varieties depending on the season.


That's the issue.  Farmer's Markets, Whole Foods, small local chains, etc, may very well stock locally grown and lesser known varieties, but they don't have the purchasing power of Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway, and the other big national grocery conglomerates.  Those stores want to simplify the supply chain and drive down costs, so they encourage growers to grow specific types that they know sell well throughout their range.

Fighting against that and keeping lesser known varieties alive, as well as making them available to more people, is a noble cause.
 
2013-07-06 03:00:21 PM
People classify apples beyond "red ones" and "green ones"?
 
2013-07-06 03:04:02 PM

Fast Moon: Huh.  Maybe it's because I've lived in Michigan all my life, but I've never had the problem the article is talking about, unless I try to get all my produce at Wal-Mart or some other national chain.  With most of the local grocery chains, it seems like there's a new type of  Johna Honey Ida Gold Delicious in the apple bins every month, and the local orchards advertise about 20 different varieties that you can go pick yourself.  Yes, we have a steady supply of Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith in the produce aisle, but they still rotate in a bajillion other varieties depending on the season.


I just tickled my three blueberry bushes.. they gave me pie for tomorrow ... mmmm pie
 
2013-07-06 03:04:27 PM

Aarontology: ZAZ: How many customers, offered only the top three varieties, would refuse to buy an apple out of loyalty to their favorite?

If my only options are red delicious or granny smith, more than likely I won't be buying apples.


Me too. I hate red delicious. I give them to the dog.
 
2013-07-06 03:08:06 PM
thamike: You can find all of those in the U.S.. Well, the soursop might be a little tough.

It was more the "variety of other fruits" that I can't find.

For example, where the hell do I buy ginuep

25.media.tumblr.com

Or a custard apple (sweet sop)

islandbuzzjamaica.com

// or a coco plum, breadfruit, cashew fruit, star apple, etc

// or papaya, (and not that giant mutant practically seedless stuff they ship here from Mexico either, I'm talking small sweet like candy papaya with seeds intact).

www.uncommoncaribbean.com

VS

fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net
 
2013-07-06 03:10:02 PM

Satanic_Hamster: That's one major thing I miss about living in NJ / working jobs in upstate New York.

Cortland apples.  farking loved cortland apples.


Cortlands are the best.
 
2013-07-06 03:12:20 PM
Give me Granny Smith or give me death.

(Small ones, preferably)
 
2013-07-06 03:12:41 PM
Honey Crisp apples are f*cking perfect. They will be the dominant apple type in 20 years.
 
2013-07-06 03:13:04 PM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: People classify apples beyond "red ones" and "green ones"?



"Apples that are in a pie" and "apples that should be in a pie."
 
2013-07-06 03:16:43 PM

FloydA: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: People classify apples beyond "red ones" and "green ones"?


"Apples that are in a pie" and "apples that should be in a pie."


Only green apples belong in pie.
 
2013-07-06 03:16:44 PM
Apples are only good for pie... or as a peanut butter delivery system.

By the way... Does everybody else run all their produce as "Bananas" at the self checkout?
 
2013-07-06 03:18:48 PM

Oldiron_79: FloydA: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: People classify apples beyond "red ones" and "green ones"?


"Apples that are in a pie" and "apples that should be in a pie."

Only green apples belong in pie.


OK, "apples that belong in a pie" and "apples that should be made into cider."
 
2013-07-06 03:22:24 PM

FloydA: Oldiron_79: FloydA: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: People classify apples beyond "red ones" and "green ones"?


"Apples that are in a pie" and "apples that should be in a pie."

Only green apples belong in pie.

OK, "apples that belong in a pie" and "apples that should be made into cider."


Green apples are also for cider. Red apples are for cretins.
 
2013-07-06 03:28:03 PM

Rozinante: Satanic_Hamster: That's one major thing I miss about living in NJ / working jobs in upstate New York.

Cortland apples.  farking loved cortland apples.

Cortlands are the best.


I KNOW.

Can't get them in Texas.

:(
 
2013-07-06 03:29:20 PM
Big fan of the Cameo
 
2013-07-06 03:32:11 PM
For some, it's a half dozen of this or a half dozen of that, but you're only getting five at your supermarket

i.ytimg.com
Five head?
 
2013-07-06 03:32:35 PM
Meh, just went to Safeway, at least 10 varieties.

Go to a produce place or farmers market and get more.

That said, I was raised pretty much entirely on McIntosh and Granny Smith. The former being fresh, local, cheap, and available everywhere. The latter being the only ones my sister would eat.
 
2013-07-06 03:33:35 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Fast Moon: Huh.  Maybe it's because I've lived in Michigan all my life, but I've never had the problem the article is talking about, unless I try to get all my produce at Wal-Mart or some other national chain.  With most of the local grocery chains, it seems like there's a new type of  Johna Honey Ida Gold Delicious in the apple bins every month, and the local orchards advertise about 20 different varieties that you can go pick yourself.  Yes, we have a steady supply of Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith in the produce aisle, but they still rotate in a bajillion other varieties depending on the season.

That's the issue.  Farmer's Markets, Whole Foods, small local chains, etc, may very well stock locally grown and lesser known varieties, but they don't have the purchasing power of Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway, and the other big national grocery conglomerates.  Those stores want to simplify the supply chain and drive down costs, so they encourage growers to grow specific types that they know sell well throughout their range.

Fighting against that and keeping lesser known varieties alive, as well as making them available to more people, is a noble cause.


I don't know about Kroger. They've been rebuilding stores in this area, and expanding their produce sections. Artisan cheeses and apples have been the big thing, here, along with wine and organic foods. In the article's list, I'd seen and bought everything down to the Braeburn, and might have seen a Jonagold but passed because of the description (yes, they describe the mealy-ness, sweat/sour, thin/thick skin, etc). Same for pears, there are usually 3 to 5 varieties that change over the seasons.

But, while they've increased the apple variety, they shrank oranges down to 'naval' and 'cara cara navel', and the occasional blood orange. Having been to Florida every year or so since I was little, I miss the wide range of juicing oranges, and everything that isn't a navel orange. I miss the Hamlins and Homosassas most. And grapes still come in just red/white seeds/seedless variety, and it's left up to the buyer to guess where they grew.

So big buying power doesn't have to mean fewer choices, if the stores are doing things right.
 
2013-07-06 03:34:52 PM
I haven't had a GOOD apple since I moved from Pennsylvania, but the closest I've found has been something called a "Pacific Rose."  Not bad.  Never knew how spoiled we were for great apples until I moved away.

I miss McIntosh Apple sauce.  And McIntosh's in general.
 
2013-07-06 03:35:52 PM

lordargent: thamike: You can find all of those in the U.S.. Well, the soursop might be a little tough.

It was more the "variety of other fruits" that I can't find.

For example, where the hell do I buy ginuep

[25.media.tumblr.com image 704x923]

Or a custard apple (sweet sop)

[islandbuzzjamaica.com image 850x543]

// or a coco plum, breadfruit, cashew fruit, star apple, etc

// or papaya, (and not that giant mutant practically seedless stuff they ship here from Mexico either, I'm talking small sweet like candy papaya with seeds intact).

[www.uncommoncaribbean.com image 550x369]

VS

[fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net image 850x637]


I do believe you are from the Caribbean, and the answer is that all those are available on Church Avenue in Flatbush Brooklyn.
 
2013-07-06 03:42:35 PM
Red Delicious used to be good, but they started breeding them for looks over taste back a few decades ago, with the result... well, you already know that.

I confess to being spoiled when it comes to apples.  Maine has always had a lot of orchards, and there were at least three within ten minutes drive of my house when I was growing up.  The number has increased since then.  And several of them have heirloom varieties, which makes me happy.  There's even one that is almost exclusive to Maine- the Black Oxford.  This is one that actually tastes better after it's been stored for a while; the variety was developed in the 19th century and was always meant for wintering over.

/Would commit mayhem for a reliable source of Winesaps.
 
2013-07-06 03:46:45 PM
I like Granny Smiths, but I've never understood the appeal of Red "Delicious". Fell in love with the first Fuji I had. Would love to try more varieties.
 
2013-07-06 03:52:07 PM
katfairy:

/Would commit mayhem for a reliable source of Winesaps.

There are easier ways than mayhem.
 
2013-07-06 03:56:08 PM

FloydA: katfairy:

/Would commit mayhem for a reliable source of Winesaps.

There are easier ways than mayhem.


Hm, maybe I can get a refund on the bazooka....
 
2013-07-06 04:05:25 PM
I do believe you are from the Caribbean, and the answer is that all those are available on Church Avenue in Flatbush Brooklyn.

Sweet, only about 2500 miles away :P

// needs something in a more westerly direction
 
2013-07-06 04:10:50 PM

LargeCanine: Red Delicious are not what they used to be.


Apples are propagated by clones. Red Delicious are  exactly what they used to be.
 
2013-07-06 04:16:05 PM

Enigmamf: LargeCanine: Red Delicious are not what they used to be.

Apples are propagated by clones. Red Delicious are  exactly what they used to be.



Know what ELSE was propagated by clones?

i105.photobucket.com
 
2013-07-06 04:24:58 PM

Enigmamf: LargeCanine: Red Delicious are not what they used to be.

Apples are propagated by clones. Red Delicious are  exactly what they used to be.


I don't think so. the skin used to be thinner, the flesh crisp. Their main attraction was that they were so sugary that the white was almost clear in places.
 
2013-07-06 04:26:28 PM
Piffle. Fruit is for wusses. If God wanted us to eat fruit why did he make meat so tasty?


ww1.prweb.com
 
2013-07-06 04:30:55 PM
Enigmamf: Apples are propagated by clones. Red Delicious are exactly what they used to be.

I like the crispy ones, not the fluffy ones. Any good way to tell which is which before buying?
 
2013-07-06 04:31:16 PM
I just had an opal apple the other day.

It was sweet, similar to honey crisp, but there was an after taste I couldn't put my finger on. I'm gonna give it another shot.

Love honey crisp, pink lady, and cameo.
 
2013-07-06 04:36:15 PM

Clemkadidlefark: If God wanted us to eat fruit why did he make meat so tasty?


You're talking about the same dude gave you a sex drive then said you could only fark one woman. Obviously, he has issues.
 
2013-07-06 05:02:20 PM
The Stater Brothers grocery were I usually shop will have between 6 and 10 verities of apple on hand and sells about 14 different verities.
 
2013-07-06 05:05:42 PM
Our local Fred Meyers carries 10-15 kinds most of the year. I am part of a local project that is attempting to save over 3500 apple varieties. They are on a large farm that has been sold and the organization is grafting scions into new root stock in another location.

I've only got seven varieties on my property, but the trees are young and will soon have room for more.
 
2013-07-06 05:25:49 PM

lordargent: thamike: You can find all of those in the U.S.. Well, the soursop might be a little tough.

It was more the "variety of other fruits" that I can't find.

For example, where the hell do I buy ginuep

[25.media.tumblr.com image 704x923]

Or a custard apple (sweet sop)

[islandbuzzjamaica.com image 850x543]

// or a coco plum, breadfruit, cashew fruit, star apple, etc

// or papaya, (and not that giant mutant practically seedless stuff they ship here from Mexico either, I'm talking small sweet like candy papaya with seeds intact).

[www.uncommoncaribbean.com image 550x369]

VS

[fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net image 850x637]


  I don't know where you're located, but the papaya front is covered by Harris Teeter (sometimes) over here in VA. I've never seen that blighted thing that's in the picture there.  They're excellent.  Actually, it's really not hard to find great papayas and mangoes around here.

I've seen breadfruit in Safeway, Giant, Shoppers, Whole Foods, in any Asian market, all over the place.

But yeah, what the other guy said--you can find all the rest of those on Church Ave in Flatbush.


 
2013-07-06 05:26:33 PM
I am in the heart of Canada's oldest apple-producing region (Annapolis Valley). I can get 15 varieties easily in September.

Honey Crisp FTW, but I also love Splendor and Jonogold.
 
2013-07-06 05:50:45 PM

Pray 4 Mojo: Apples are only good for pie... or as a peanut butter delivery system.

By the way... Does everybody else run all their produce as "Bananas" at the self checkout?


4011 in tha house!
 
2013-07-06 07:37:36 PM
I've had about eight of the apples listed in the article and have heard of or seen three.

When I was a child we used to go pick crab apples and other varities in a farming area that died. The farm houses were still there then and some of them were still upright. People had stolen a lot of the doorknobs--the old glass doorknobs were fashionable. They had orchards frequently mainly by locals like us and bears.

Crab apples make the most delicious jelly. They are inedible otherwise and are grown as ornamentals sometimes. They grow profusely so one small backyard tree can keep you in jelly with boughs weighed down to the ground. No need for an orchard.

The most memorable apple from these old farms is the yellow transparent (also known as the white transparent in the UK and France. It is a pale yellow colour with very white flesh. The flavour is sharp, acidic but refreshing. Beats the Granny Smith all to Hades. The granny is hard and very acidic, I don't know why the hipster and upper middle class types love them. They are not properly an eating apple.  They were bred for baking because their flesh stays firm even in ovens.

It was popular in the US and Canada in the 1870s, which is the period during which this area of now gone farms was cleared and settled. Perhaps the new settlers (cottagers and homeowners) have saved some of the trees.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Transparent

I've had juice made from the Cox Orange Pippin, IIRC. Quite a distinctive flavour but I just love the Old World name.

My Father planted a few yellow transparent trees on an old farm he bought with the intention of building on it. The tenants (party-hearty schoolteachers) burned the old house down. It had a wide selection of fruit trees, bushes, flowers and herbs at one time. The sage survives, having gone wild. Pears, plums, cherries, apples, raspberries, Rowan berries, gooseberries, rubbarb--many of these quite rare and still at the end of their range despite global warming. It was an old-timey wonder.

The local independant grocery store has a fairly good range of apples. I like the New Zealand Gala because of the stripes and the convenient size. It is a good lunch bag apple.

When I was a child McIntosh apples predominated in stores and road-side stands. The Red Delicious and Yellow Delicious came in and were very popular but have faded somewhat in the public favour. Romes and Spartans are common, as is the Empire, which is, with the McIntosh, a popular Canadian apple.

They carry a few novelty apples from Asia at high prices and in low quantities. They tend to have very delicate, weak, watery flavours. I tried one recent novelty that was supposed to be grapey but it wasn't really all that.

They also have a variety of bananas, such as those tiny finger-sized bananas and some larger cooking bananas or plantains. Perhaps immigrants will help to save some varietals, because it helps if you know what to do with such fruit--cook, eat, or make cider, vinegar, etc.

I've seen some really great stores in university towns with the latest in fad or exotic fruit. This store is not bad but not great.  I don't much care for their potatoes (a guy with an Irish accent said they were crap one day to nobody in particular, so I am not alone in hat).

I come from a potato-growing area of mixed farming and it is hard to get good potatoes here, but then, unless you buy from the locals, it is hard to get good potatoes there. The stuff in the stores is not the stuff grown locally. Many of the stores are expensive, very poorly managed, and very poorly stocked with produce. It goes out, sits in a warehouse and comes back.

The country is only a good place to shop if you grow your own, pick your own, or buy from those who do. Fortunately, there are some crops, such as zucchini, which over-produce enormously, so you can swap with neighbours who grow some other sort of garden scourge, such as rhubarb or whatever.

The raspberries that you buy for as much as much as $5 a tray (tiny, half-pint or quarter-pint trays at that) can be picked in an afternoon with children in old fields or plowed up forest floors. You can scavange, hunt and fish in my native New Brunswick and eat like kings. All it costs you is some work and a bit of local knowledge, such as where the fiddle heads come up and when, and where the most productive and likely old fields or lumbering operations are.
 
2013-07-06 08:18:37 PM
thamike: I don't know where you're located,

West coast (San Diego)

The papayas we get here are of a different variety (shipped up from Mexico or Ecquador).

Some of the other stuff can be found by trolling Chinese/Vietnamese markets (but that's always an odd adventure).

And the rest of it, there simply isn't a good way to get it fresh out here.
 
2013-07-06 08:23:42 PM
brantgoose: They also have a variety of bananas, such as those tiny finger-sized bananas and some larger cooking bananas or plantains.

Mmmm plantains.

sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

Fried plantains, cubed coconut sorbet, grated coconut and a cherry on top.

I call it, plantainopus.
 
2013-07-06 09:50:58 PM

skinnycatullus: Aarontology: If my only options are red delicious or granny smith, more than likely I won't be buying apples.

I grew up eating only those, because that's what was available. So I never really liked apples that much. I thought they were OK, but nothing I just went crazy over. Then a few weeks ago, I tried some Honeycrisp and couldn't believe how good they were. Now I have to have apples every time I go to the grocery, and I usually try any new kind I see. I hate that I missed out all those years!


Same deal for me. I never loved apples but now I'll eat honeycrisps every day when they're in season and they've made me unable to eat the other popular varieties that I only thought were ok. I'd love to try some of the varieties from the larticle to see if I can find another favorite. Red delicious apples are not so much delicious as lacking any flavor or texture at all. Granny Smiths are good with cheese or in salads but are too tart for me to eat alone.
 
2013-07-06 10:51:32 PM
I've heard(dont know if its true) that red delicious is the main cultivar of apple because they are well suited to the juice industry, not because they have ever been anyones fave for eating.
 
2013-07-06 10:58:45 PM
The subject of this article has found a worthwhile life pursuit. He'll leave a positive legacy. Good on him. Much respect.
 
2013-07-07 12:57:03 AM

Oldiron_79: I've heard(dont know if its true) that red delicious is the main cultivar of apple because they are well suited to the juice industry, not because they have ever been anyones fave for eating.


The biggest reason is the appearance. They look great and draw people's attention at the store. Stores like that and demand more. Producers have deliberately sacrificed the flavour to improve the size, colour, and firmness of Red Delicious apples in order to appeal to grocery stores.
 
2013-07-07 09:42:00 AM
We have a pair of apple trees in our backyard, one red-ish, one yellow-green. Neither of them are the greatest as "dessert apples" - a new term I am glad to learn - but they make exceedingly delicious tart pies.

I have absolutely no idea what varieties they are, but seeing as they have probably been growing back there for close to 80 years, they are certainly not any of the "big five."
 
2013-07-07 02:01:46 PM

dywed88: Oldiron_79: I've heard(dont know if its true) that red delicious is the main cultivar of apple because they are well suited to the juice industry, not because they have ever been anyones fave for eating.

The biggest reason is the appearance. They look great and draw people's attention at the store. Stores like that and demand more. Producers have deliberately sacrificed the flavour to improve the size, colour, and firmness of Red Delicious apples in order to appeal to grocery stores.


Yep.  RD make lousy juice; for that, you want plain old utility macs blended with cortlands and whatever else comes to hand.

One of the things I never miss at the Fryeburg Fair is the cider-making demonstration- they give samples.  Fresh-pressed cider from real apples may be the best taste in the world.
 
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