Arkansas Black Apples, October 31, 2005

The Arkansas Black is a dark, purplish apple and is thought to be a descendant of the Winesap. The Arkansas Black was said to be discovered in Benton County, Arkansas in 1870.

These apples come from Lee Walker’s farm in Sebastapol. Lee’s hand picks his apples and his Arkansas Black crop is very small; we will be lucky if we can get 30, which will barely last us one week. Being an heirloom variety, this apple can be oddly sized and shaped. They have a flat top and tend to look like they grew lopsided. They also have a sugary, nearly tacky feel to them. Lee tells us that this is a quality of the outer skin of the apple. You can eat it sticky or rinse it with water and dry with a napkin. Regardless of your technique, the taste is exquisite. This apple has a cherry cinnamon sweetness to it that is like no other apple. I find that the ones with the darkest red skin will have the most cherry like flavor to them. I recommend keeping them in the refrigerator and eating crisp.

Let-goa, my Feijoa!

You may be saying: “What are those oval-shaped green things with little fronds on the ends?” They are called Feijoas. Feijoas are native to Southern Brazil and since the early 1800s have been cultivated around the world. The Feijoa is ready to eat when slightly soft and when the jellied sections in the center of the fruit are clear. Depending on the variety this may happen on the tree or within 2 to 5 days of natural fruit drop. The fruit is unripe when the jellied sections are white and past it’s best when they are browning. (Unpleasant flavors develop when browning occurs and the fruit should be discarded.) Handle the feijoas very gently as you would ripe peaches. You can cut them in half and scoop out the inside or even quarter and eat like an orange. Do not eat the skin as it is unappealing. Share with friends!

Enjoy and be fruitful! – Chris Mittelstaedt

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