What are Gravenstein apples?
We’re so glad you asked! Ripened in the warm summer days and sweetened by cool evening fogs, delicious sweet-tart Gravensteins are a much-beloved apple grown primarily in Northern California’s Sonoma County and available only about two weeks every summer due to a short growing season. They’re superior in taste and baking prestige, and great for pies, juice, sauce, and just plain eating out of hand.
Gravensteins are an “endangered American food,” as featured on Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste, “a living collection of distinctive and meaningful foods in danger of extinction.” Suburban development, the ever-present land-value pressures of wine-grape production, and competition from Chinese apple juice concentrate are among the factors that have greatly reduced the number of orchards and apple acreage in Sonoma. There are only a handful of farmers still growing Gravs in Sonoma County.