By Gretchen Bay
As winter draws slowly to a close and we move closer to spring, our East Coast fruit crates will feature some of the season’s last local apples! Look for beauties such as Jonagold, Cameo, Pink Lady, and Gold Rush apples from local growers Three Springs Fruit Farm (Aspers, PA), and Beechwood Orchards (Biglerville, PA).
All four of these varieties share a common ancestor in the Golden Delicious apple and are crossed with other apples to give them their individual flavors and textures.
The Jonagold, a mid-century gem, is a sweet, thin-skinned apple; the Cameo is firm, crisp, and aromatic, and was an accidental cross discovered in a Washington State orchard in the 1980s; the Pink Lady apple, aka Cripps Pink, was originally developed in Australia in the 1970s and is crisp and tart-sweet delicious; the Gold Rush apple also originated in the ’70s and has great crisp texture and complex spicy-sweet flavor.
These apple varieties all travel well, are good “keepers,” and have terrific flavor. Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge for up to 2–3 weeks. To enjoy full flavor, bring apples to room temperature before eating.