I love apples.
I used to like the taste of the flesh, but not the skin. I’d practically only eat them if they were peeled. Then I experienced my first fresh-picked from the tree locally apples and I began to change my mind. Now I’m a bit of an apple snob.
My college roommate freshman year lived on her family’s orchard. For the first few weeks of school she went home weekends (90 minutes or so) to work and always brought back apples. Her last words to me on the way out the door on Friday were — what kind do you want this week? She always brought a bushel to set outside the room for anyone on the floor to enjoy and at least a half bushel for each of us to eat like greedy squirrels. We usually shared those, too. Eventually.
Living in Florida, I don’t get fresh apples very often. Any apples we get were picked by machines, bagged and shipped a thousand miles or more. Occasionally we get good ones — I’m a fan of the smaller Gala myself.
I like apples that are crisp and not soft or mealy. I like them sweet with a touch of tart. Macintosh – yum. Gala – yum. I’m not a huge fan of any of the Delicious variety — but will take Golden over Red any day. Granny Smith and the like are great for baking, but not so much eating. In Florida I’m less likely to bake apples than anywhere I’ve lived.
So, while I’m enjoying the consistency of our warm fall-into-winter temperatures, I miss living in a place where a local orchard has fantastic picked today apples and on-sight pressed apple cider. You know, the kind that if you forget it in the back of the fridge for too long you find the bottle a bit expanded? Yeah, fresh like that.