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Gala apples are attractive to look at, but they've gone flavorless and the texture isn't as good as I remember them, even in season. They're not crisp enough. Galas aren't bitter like red delicious, but they're no longer an apple I want to spend money on.

Fuji apples are my current commonly-found-in-the-grocery-store fave. They smell like apples and they taste like apples.

When I go to an orchard, I like to taste test and am likely to select different (and more local) varieties. But after not buying grocery store apples for years and years, it's nice to finally have one I know I like.

(And to remember which variety it is.)

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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
kalimac
Nov. 12th, 2009 02:50 am (UTC)
Aside from Honeycrisp, which are only around briefly (they're around right now), Fuji are my favorite, followed by Braeburn, a name which I originally remembered due to my superior mental training as a fanzine fan, re-parsing it as "B. Raeburn".
gerisullivan
Nov. 12th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
For some reason, Honeycrisp apples have never wowed me. It seems so much like they should have I've tried them several times over the past 6-8 years. First, in Minnesota, where they were developed, and later in other states. I don't dislike them, but they don't say "I am an apple; you like me" when I put them in my mouth.

It won't surprise you to hear I LOVE your memory cue for remembering Braeburn apples. It's been a long time since I've tried grocery store Braeburns. It might be time to do so again.
guppiecat
Nov. 12th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
I was going to recommend Braeburns... but get the organic ones. I can totally taste a difference.
minnehaha
Nov. 12th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
Honeycrisp has some great marketing. We still like the Haralson better.

K.
astein142
Nov. 12th, 2009 03:00 am (UTC)
The Honeycrisp are giving me the joy that Gala used to give me. If only they weren't so expensive!
kalimac
Nov. 12th, 2009 06:17 am (UTC)
Not expensive here, but then this is California, where much of the produce comes from in the first place.

But that doesn't mean all is superior here on the food front. Our barbecue sucks.
minnehaha
Nov. 12th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
We like Cactus Willie's for BBQ in San Jose and environs.

K.
kalimac
Nov. 12th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
Armadillo Willy's, yeah. (Not to snark or one-up you, just to alert you to the mental glitch so that you don't look it up under the wrong name and wonder where it went.) Not bad, certainly not for a chain. What I'm mostly thinking of around here is one-outlet places that are supposed to be hidden treasures but ain't.
dragonet2
Nov. 12th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
I think the apple I'm looking for is gone from commercial
Crops forever.

At the end of last year's farmers market season in Lawrence a grower had many varieties of locally grown apples and was offering samples. I tried them all, then asked. Got told it had to be 'thus-and-such' (I think she said Macintosh but it's been a year) and I went, 'it cannot be, this is not tart enough."

The property my parents owned south of Wellsville, Kan. had the original homestead on it and an apple tree that was likely planted the same time the house had been built, likely in the post-civil-war era.

The apples were out-and-out, slap-you-inna-da-face tart, puckery even, when ripe. But they made the best apple sauces and pies because the apples held their texture when cooked, but got pleasantly, apple-y mellow with the addition of sugar. And it wasn't cared for so we had to be careful to make sure any 'guests' were removed before cooking. But I didn't mind. And I was the only one who liked eating them out of hand, though you could only eat about one before your mouth would go all puckery...

Tree died after being struck by lightning, and dad cut it down with a great deal of sadness. And he gave the farm house to my brother but it turned out it was unlivable and unrestorable--the foundation was rock without mortar, and the house had warped in two axes, making it impossible to budge doors or windows. And it was all walnut, which at that age could not have been jacked straight. My brother did end up salvaging it all for sale, plus made some nice things for all of us out of it.
lesliet_ma
Nov. 17th, 2009 12:23 pm (UTC)
Re: I think the apple I'm looking for is gone from commercial
If you're looking for puckery, the one you want is Macoun (pronounced McGowan). Totally tart and very crisp - it's my absolute favorite. You don't often see it in supermarkets, but can find it around here (Boston area) at farmstands and the like. (I got my last batch from an actual orchard).

On the Gaia question, I find that the quality of apples is very much affected by how fresh they are. So I tend to avoid supermarket apples in general because they are usually too old and mushy - even the good varieties. So maybe Gaias were good in the beginning because only a few local orchards were growing them and they were fresh, and then got bad because they started getting supplies from big commercial growers.
replyhazy
Nov. 12th, 2009 04:45 am (UTC)
I like Fujis and the occasional Rome or Gala, and I like Honeycrisp, but once in a while I go sideways to the sweet Pink Ladys. They're almost too sweet!
maruad
Nov. 12th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
I am willing to bet some excessive breeding to enhance "positive" traits has ruined the Gala apple similar to what happened to the Red Delicious. The ones from BC taste much better than the dark red ones from Washington State. IIRC Washington State developed the "perfect" variety in that it looked perfect. Unfortunately it didn't taste as good as the original. I suspect this has happened with Gala Apples. I do see some visual difference from time to time with the Galas and I suspect some places are still using the old stock while others are growing a newer version of the Gala.

I tried a Honeycrisp for the first time this year. It was good but not an apple I would want on a regular basis.
buttonlass
Nov. 12th, 2009 12:56 pm (UTC)
My current favorite eating apple is called Fortune. It was developed in NY but there are a couple of growers around here who were selling them at the market this year. I should have bought more.:(
(Deleted comment)
emerdavid
Nov. 14th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
Haralsons used to be my favorite. I suppose now I'd go with Fuji, but I still like Galas as long as they're fresh.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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