March 9th, 2013


Malus Aforethought

My apple-buying habits have changed over the years. Back in the day, I remember feeling that Golden Delicious apples were the bee's knees, but now I'd only eat one of the pallid pap globes if desperate. What changed - my taste, or the strain? Reliability is another factor. At its best, nothing beats a Cox's Orange Pippin - which is also the most beautiful of apples, appearing to have rolled out of a Chardin - but it often isn't at its best, and when it falls short it can be a very ordinary fruit indeed. Pink Lady and Granny Smith are similarly variable, both suffering a tendency to waxiness that can lead to heartbreaking disappointment, especially in the case of the pricey Pink Lady. In recent years, I've found Jazz offers the best overall combination of taste, texture and reliability, but it's usually quite expensive. Braeburn too is reliable, if not quite as tasty. Royal Gala is better than Golden Delicious, but still disappointingly bland. And then there's Russet, which offers the apple equivalent of Rupert Brooke's "rough male kiss of blankets" - a lovely apple, but not for every day.

What are your dessert apple choices? How do you rate the ones I've mentioned, and which others would you recommend?

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