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Old 10-06-2017, 04:54 PM
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I used to think all apples tasted the same. And then I discovered...


I've never been crazy about apples. I will eat one when one is offered, or if I happen to be searching around the refrigerator for a sweet snack. I'll take one to work a few days a week. I've never paid much attention to the type of apple I am eating; they all taste pretty much the same to me (Red Delicious, Jonathan, Granny Smith, etc.)

So a few months ago I happened upon this article: Honeycrisp was just the beginning: inside the quest to create the perfect apple. After reading I thought to myself, "Interesting. But it probably tastes like all the others."

A few weeks ago I was at a local orchard. They had 5 or 6 varieties, with one of them being Honeycrisp. Recalling the article, I went ahead and purchased a half-dozen. I should also mention they were also quite a bit more expensive than the other varieties.

And wow, Honeycrisp is not like any other variety I've had. It's not mushy or spongy, has a sharp "crispness" when you bite into it, and is very juicy. Some people have described it as "an explosion in your mouth" (insert dirty joke here). I've also turned a couple coworkers onto them. I tried eating a Jonathan apple a couple days ago and I didn't even finish it; it tasted downright nasty compared to Honeycrisp.
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:57 PM
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I just recently ate my first Honeycrisp, and I have to admit, I was blown away. There really is a huge difference between this variety and other apples.
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:57 PM
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This 2011 thread of mine may be of interest. "What are your favorite apples for eating out of hand?"

I think Honeycrisps are okay, but not my fave. I like Jazz, and Winesaps are my favorite, but practically impossible to find anymore. The other day I had a variety called Breeze or Breezy or something and they were fantastic. I'll probably never be able to find them again.

I had a friend who said he hated apples because they were so tasteless. He had never eaten anything but a (so-called) Red Delicious. He didn't know what he was missing.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:28 PM
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Granny Smith fan here. I like the crisp texture, the tartness and the fact that a good one just drips with juice when you bite into it.

Honeycrisps have great texture but I thought they were too sweet and not tart enough for my tastes. Way better than a so-called Red Delicious tho.

ETA: I actually tried one because of your thread, ThelmaLou.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 10-06-2017 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:29 PM
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Red Delicious is the worst.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:46 PM
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I'm partial to Pink Lady apples. Compared to the Honeycrisp apples I tried (which were also very good), they're a bit more tart and crunchier, but not as big. I suspect they just went out of season, though.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:49 PM
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I discovered Honeycrisp apples a few years ago after watching an episode of Once Upon a Time where Regina expounded on their greatness. Didn't think anything of it. Until a whole bunch of people on the message board said how she had red apples (not sure Red Delicious) and they looked nothing like Honeycrisp, etc. It got so many comments that people made jokes about it being stealth marketing. Anyway, I do like the Honeycrisp (before that I only ate Granny Smith because that and Red Delicious were all I tried). I still like Granny Smith, too. Just wish I knew the best time of year to get them in my area, because I want a flavorful apple. Supermarket watermelon I can look at and know it's likely not to be good based on color - don't know how to tell with apples.

Though I may be odd in preferring my apples peeled (really a holdover from red delicious, probably), sliced, and refrigerator cold.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:06 PM
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I always liked me a Golden Delicious, when they're a little early, nice and crisp, almost fractures when you take a bite.


Then I discovered Honey Crisps. A little extra? I will pay.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:06 PM
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Washington state farmers' markets are second to nowhere for getting awesome apples and obscure varieties. My family has 4 favorites which change nearly every year depending on what each year's crop goes well. Prairie Spy, Sweet 16s, Odins, and Honey Crisp are this year's favorites. We've been getting early samples of Cosmic Crisps for a couple of years and I think they are going to do very well once they are fully deployed.

One of the big things that you have to remember is that the big varieties like Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala, Honey Crisp is that they are selected because they store and ship well. Sweet 16s have a very short picked life as their texture goes bad very quickly, but imagine a granny smith with honey and rhubarb overtones; whereas an Odin is a softer textured, cotton candy overtoned version. Dried apple rings of either are otherwordly!

So keep on looking as there are hundreds of other varieties out there.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:10 PM
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My favorite is the Opal. If you like a sweet apple, there is nothing better.

I do also enjoy the Honeycrisps.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:24 PM
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I came into the thread to mention Opals. Those have been my favorite for the past few years (thank you WA state farmers' markets!)
I need to see what's new(er) this year.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:37 PM
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I love the Macouns. From upstate New York, they're a cold weather apple, the season runs October through November. You have to pick them after the first frost.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:40 PM
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I've been eating Piñata apples. They're sweet with a tropical note. My store just ran out of them, so now I bought some honeycrisp.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:49 PM
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I knew it was going to be Honey crisp before I opened the thread.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:53 PM
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I went camping in Wenatchee a couple of weekends in Aug. It's the self pro-claimed apple capital of the US. Also home to the applets and cottlets factory. There are freaking apple processing facilities everywhere including a Tree Sweet factory. Man, there were some good apples at some of the roadside stands. I believe it is the home of Honey Crisp apples.
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
This 2011 thread of mine may be of interest. "What are your favorite apples for eating out of hand?"

I think Honeycrisps are okay, but not my fave. I like Jazz, and Winesaps are my favorite, but practically impossible to find anymore. The other day I had a variety called Breeze or Breezy or something and they were fantastic. I'll probably never be able to find them again.

I had a friend who said he hated apples because they were so tasteless. He had never eaten anything but a (so-called) Red Delicious. He didn't know what he was missing.
I'm not a huge fan of apples, really, but Jazz are the ones I look for when I have the rare craving for one--a nice balance of sweet, tart, and crisp-- followed by a simple Granny Smith when I just crave the tart. They all do taste quite distinct and different to me (or, rather, I should say there are several broad categories apples varieties fit into).
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:58 AM
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When my kids were younger we used to take them apple picking every year. We would go to an orchard that gives you a huge bag for 10 bucks and lets you fill it up with Honeycrisp. They are good but at the store they are 3-4 times the price of other apples that my kids like just fine. I will eat an apple if one happens to be sitting around but otherwise don't seek them out for myself.
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:10 AM
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I really like Pink Lady apples. But *not* Cripps Pink. Costco thinks of them both as "pink apples" and they are definitely not the same.

I've been leery about trying new kinds of apples, but I first tried Pink Lady only because Costco didn't have any Gala. I should probably pick up one Honeycrisp at the grocery store and try it.
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Old 10-07-2017, 03:10 AM
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Red Delicious is the worst.
Absolutely agree.In recent years, Ive been buying Gala, which is pretty good in all seasons, and priced right. Any apple is great right off the tree, but until recent years, they would not keep well after Halloween. Recent cultivars have a much longer shelf life.

Last edited by jtur88; 10-07-2017 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 10-07-2017, 03:41 AM
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Fuji apples...those are one of my favorites....
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Old 10-07-2017, 03:44 AM
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Red Delicious is the worst.
And look the best. That's what they're bred for. Otherwise, they're okay but they go mealy very quickly.

As for me, the only apples I don't like are mealy ones but I do have favorites. Mine are Northern Spies and Winesaps but that's only because I prefer sweet/sour tasting apples.
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:23 AM
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I also eat mostly honeycrisps these days (they are more expensive because growers have to pay a license (maybe not the right word) to the creator of the breed). It's shame because Red Delicious apples became flavorless crap during my lifetime because, as someone said above, fruits are bred for durability more than taste now.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:16 AM
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...
I've been leery about trying new kinds of apples....
Um, there's not much risk in buying ONE apple. Where does the leeriness come in?
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:26 AM
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I've started to prefer Ambrosia
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:29 AM
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Fuji apples...those are one of my favorites....
Fujis are almost always available in this area, and are reasonably priced, unlike honeycrisps. They're not quite as delicious as pink ladies, but they're perfectly fine.
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:33 PM
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I love the Macouns. From upstate New York, they're a cold weather apple, the season runs October through November. You have to pick them after the first frost.
. Good point. I bought a few Macouns this week, and they were mushy and unpleasant.

The weather has been maintaining at 80 degrees and humid, with no rain. At this rate, the Macoun season will be finished before we get a frost.
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:39 PM
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Red Delicious is the worst.
I cannot think of anything more inappropriately named.
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:45 PM
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I've been buying Envy apples recently from Costco, although I think they're getting to the end of their season. I received a copy of The Apple Lover's Cookbook for my birthday last year, and I love the table in the beginning that classifies all the different varieties of apples (except Red Delicious, which is specifically left out because they are so dreadful).
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:33 PM
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I loves me some honeycrisps, pink ladies, fujis, it's true. Lots of local orchards are nearby, and it's fun to sample different varieties at each of them. I've discovered I'm partial to those 3.

I've a few surviving apple trees on my farm, dating back to the days when every farm had a few fruit trees. I'm not sure what variety they produce, but it's not real good eating.

But I do hope they someday do locate the Tinmouth again. Even though it's meant to be made into cider, I'd like to try it.
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:48 PM
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Red Delicious is the worst.
Yes. One of the problems with them is that they get a nice red color long before they're ripe, so can, and are, picked early. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. I think Red Delicious went a long way towards hurting the industry for a time. They took over too much of the volume, pushing out other varieties, and people eventually got tired of biting into a tasty looking apple that tasted like green wood.

Even with transport being what it is today, it's still hard to get a good apple some places. I have not had a good apple since I moved several years back. I used to love apples, but now I'm down to trying one or two every year and finding out they're still disappointing. I was spoiled by an abundance of locally-grown fruit.

MacIntosh apples for me. Tart and sweet all in one. Applesauce made from it is wonderful. Haven't had that in several years either.
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Old 10-07-2017, 02:16 PM
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I was a Honeycrisp virign until about a year ago, and now that's about all I buy. They are a bit pricy, but worth it.

In fact, I think I'll have one right now!
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Old 10-07-2017, 03:11 PM
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Idaho deer apparently have discerning taste, since Honey Crisps were the first to go. Might have had something to do with the size of the tree though since it's a youngster yet.

I like many of the older varieties. MacIntosh, Winesaps are still favorites.

I like to think of myself as a fruit explorer. This area has thousands of neglected fruit trees, many dating back a century or more. I can't put a name to most of the varieties I come across, but the range of flavors, textures and utility never ceases to amaze me. This year, I came across apples that reminded me of a potato and another one that had shocked me with banana flavor!
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Old 10-07-2017, 03:16 PM
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I still like granny smith best, but they are so variable in quality. I think they are too often picked "green" (I know they are always green); does that explain it? And there seems to be general agreement that red delicious are dreadful. How did they ever get a market. I do like honey crisp, but they are really not tart enough. Some of our local apples (macintosh, for example) are also excellent. Granny smiths apparently don't thrive this far north, so are all imported.
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Old 10-07-2017, 04:08 PM
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I, too, assumed the thread was about Honeycrisps before opening it.

And when I did open it and confirmed it was, I went and grabbed a Honeycrisp to munch while reading the thread.

Honeycrisp is the only variety of apple that I would ever have a hankerin' for.


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Old 10-07-2017, 04:42 PM
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Galas FTW for me. Pink Ladies are second. I didn't know there is a difference between Cripps and Pink Ladies.
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Old 10-07-2017, 04:57 PM
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I've never seen Honeycrisp in the UK, though you can apparently buy trees for home growing. I wish you lot'd stop going on about them

I've tried a lot of the more obscure old varieties, being interested in heritage fruit and living in England's cider country, my favourite is probably 'Pitmaston Pineapple', which does taste quite pineappley. The fruit are tiny, just ping pong ball size most of the time. Great for a nibble.
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:47 PM
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I cannot think of anything more inappropriately named.
Well they're definitely red, so the name's half right. How about 'Red Unpalatable'?
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:57 PM
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There used to be an apple tree across the lane from us that had the BEST apples. They were numinous eau-de-nil green, crisp but also juicy, and had just the right sweet/tart balance with a distinct overtone of ginger.

The tree was growing in a forest tangle, so we felt free to help ourselves.

The landowners cut it down this summer >
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Old 10-07-2017, 06:23 PM
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Pink Ladies are second. I didn't know there is a difference between Cripps and Pink Ladies.
There isn't. Pink Lady is just a trademarked brand name, Cripps Pink is the 'generic' name.

Fuji and Mutsu are two of my favorites. I also like Piñata and Opal. I tend to like sweeter apples with a little tart for balance, and they gotta be crisp.
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Old 10-07-2017, 06:43 PM
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I've never seen Honeycrisp in the UK, though you can apparently buy trees for home growing. I wish you lot'd stop going on about them

I've tried a lot of the more obscure old varieties, being interested in heritage fruit and living in England's cider country, my favourite is probably 'Pitmaston Pineapple', which does taste quite pineappley. The fruit are tiny, just ping pong ball size most of the time. Great for a nibble.
The UK still HAS most of their old heritage apples, never having gone through the Red Delicious Blight. Or seen their apple farmers go mad with greed and devote their entire resources to one breed.

You'll get a fresh Honeycrisp eventually, but in the meantime enjoy what you've got!
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:14 PM
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Then I discovered Honey Crisps. A little extra? I will pay.
A lot extra, I will pay. Honeycrisps...
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:31 PM
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I saw the thread title and came in to mention Honey Crisps. I see this is pretty close to universal here.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:03 PM
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I miss Empire. You just can't get them this far west. They're a great all-purpose apple.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:19 PM
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Fujis are almost always available in this area, and are reasonably priced, unlike honeycrisps. They're not quite as delicious as pink ladies, but they're perfectly fine.
I am on the other side of the fence. Fujis have a pleasant, subtle flavor that is not overly sweet. The one time I tried a Pink Lady, it tasted like eating perfume. I have a very strong aversion, bordering on allergy, to perfume. To be fair, though, I grew up under a Granny Smith tree.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:29 PM
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Our co-op has been selling locally-grown Honeycrisp - took me by surprise because NC is not exactly known for their apples. They are wonderful, and half the price of the ones that are being shipped in from elsewhere. They look a bit different, though - the skin is mostly green, with just a little red to them, while the ones grown elsewhere are just the opposite.

If I can't find the Honeycrisp, then Cripps Pink is what I buy. These two varieties really are good all-around apples - I bake with them too and they hold up well, plus I don't need to add as much sugar as I might otherwise.

I love winesaps as well, but it's been years since I've seen them.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:42 PM
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I also eat mostly honeycrisps these days (they are more expensive because growers have to pay a license (maybe not the right word) to the creator of the breed). It's shame because Red Delicious apples became flavorless crap during my lifetime because, as someone said above, fruits are bred for durability more than taste now.
Growers had to pay $1.30 per Honeycrisp tree to the developer, the University of Minnesota, but that expired in 2007. Some of the other varieties others are mentioning here (Pinata, Opal, Envy) are still covered by agreements, nicely summarized in this NPR article Want to Grow These Apples?. I think I've tried almost all of these varieties, but just this weekend went back and tried a SweetSixteen and later we'll look for the old-fashioned Haralson, probably the most versatile baking and cooking apple.

We live close to the Mississippi River apple growers in LaCrescent and Lake City Minnesota, and they grows some great apples here. We pay $1.80 per pound this time of year, but that's a promotional price at the local stores. By the end of the season we get a little tired of even Honeycrisp and try lots of different varieties, mostly Gala and Fuji.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:52 PM
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I actually live IN La Crescent MN. Apple blossom drive is a favorite bike route for me


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  #48  
Old 10-08-2017, 12:09 AM
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I tried a new (to me) kind of apple the other day called Pink Pearl. The flesh is pink, it's very pretty. The flavor is ok, but my favorites for eating out of hand are still Honeycriso and Pink Lady. I used to make apple pies with a combo of Granny Smith and MacIntosh but I haven't seen the Macs in a long time.
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Old 10-08-2017, 01:36 AM
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A couple of years ago we had the Apple World Cup at work where we played off various apple varieties against one another. It was a good way for everyone at work to taste a lot of different apples. Two of each variety is sufficient for a heads up match at morning tea.

I think after many rounds Pink Lady won but I wouldn't bet on it. My personal favorite is Jazz which supplanted Pink Lady which had, some years before, taken over from Fuji.
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:41 AM
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