Mother and Child Reunion November 6, 2006

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Apple trees are one of the greatest propagators of new varieties in the fruit world. The Arkansas Black apple is thought to be a sport or chimera (an offshoot from the originating tree) of a Winesap tree found in Benton County, Arkansas in 1870. This week we are featuring this mother and child reunion in all of our conventional crates - fresh from Chris Bierwagen at Bierwagen's farm in the foothills outside of Grass Valley.
Winesap: The Winesap is the lighter red apple in the crate this week. It has a wonderful crunch to it that lasts two beats - the first crunch when you bite into it and the second as you pull the fruit away from the rest of the apple. It makes you wonder how many bites it takes to get to the center of the Winesap. The taste is rooted in memories of fall itself. With a slight cinnamon on the sides of the tongue like rough Winesap and spicy apple cider, it is easy to imagine that you are standing in an old orchard with twisted apple tree branches all around you and the headless horseman just around the bend.
Arkansas Black: The Arkansas Black is denser then the Winesap and has less cinnamon flavor and more of a woody-cherry finish to it. It is rich and full-flavored and the fruit inside is a brighter white color than its mother. Oddly sized and shaped - the Arkansas Black looks like a piece of purple-red art with a small stem divot and an almost perfectly round shape. Sometimes the skin can have a sugary and tacky feel to it. Just wash Arkansas Black and wipe with a dry napkin if this is the case. I recommend keeping them in the refrigerator and eating crisp. I find that the nuanced flavors really come out nicely when chilled. But maybe that's just me. . .
PS - the first Navel Oranges are here. They aren't yet as sweet as we like to see them but will begin to "sugar up" over the next few weeks. We wanted to make sure we included some citrus for those who love oranges.

 

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