RECYCLED Eat Local Apples Now (Summer Apples)

July 22, 2011 at 12:47 am

Note: We are seeing the first apples in the market.  You may think why eat an apple now, but as we explained last year, there is a special seasonal treat to these summer fruits.

I tried again today to get my wife to eat a summer apple.  “I don’t want an apple. I want a peach.  Or a nectarine.  Give me some berries.”  She means that she has plenty of time to eat apples.  Still, between you and me, she’s not a huge apple lover.  She has her macoun season, and she likes to make her Hoosier Mama taught apple pie recipe, but she’s not really wedded to apples.  She does not thrive on them like the local kids.  They eat their local apples now.  They eat them in the fall, and they eat them from storage practically right up until those first strawberries release them to new fruit each year.  They know that summer apples have their own charm.  They eat local apples now.

I tried to explain that charm to my wife.  See, you could eat apples all year long, but you could only eat these apples now.  Two things make a summer apple.  First, they possess bright, sharp, especially intense flavors, not really found in later ripening apples.  These are the citrus crop of apples so to speak.  Second, they are not built for lasting.  You cannot find a cold spot and keep your lodi, your transparent, around.  You need to eat them now.  Need more?  When ever we need apple info, we go to the Vintage Virginia apple site.  They say this about the yellow transparent:

YELLOW TRANSPARENT has the synonyms Grand Sultan, White Transparent, Russian Transparent and Early Transparent. It originated in Russia or one of the Baltic States and was introduced into Europe in the early 1800s, and into the United States in 1870. Medium in size and round in shape, the smooth skin is a greenish-white that ripens to a pale-yellow with inconspicuous dots, russet or green in color. The white flesh is crisp and juicy with an acid flavor. Refreshing, well-flavored, soft, pale-cream flesh, whose acidity can make it too sharp for some tastes. Cooks to a cream puree, sweet, balanced, flavorsome. The medium-sized tree grows upright and vigorously and is exceptionally hardy, with short and crooked branches that are heavily spurred. The oval to ovate shaped leaves are medium to yellowish-green with dull serrations. Yellow Transparent is subject to both scab and fireblight. The fruit is easily bruised, and thinning is necessary to increase the size. It will store for only a few weeks, and ripens in late June and early July over a 3 to 4 week period.

Or not.  Summer apples are classically made into apple sauce.  They may be sauce apples because of how quickly they go soft, but they are also sauce apples because of their complex flavors stand up to saucing.  Remember, you can freeze apple sauce as well as can it for a taste of summer, apple style.  We should say buy local apples now.

Summer apples are one of those things you pretty much have to go to a farmer’s market to find, but you can find them around town now.  Eat local apples all the time.