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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Bouquets of Bygone Days"
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ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 26th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

Okay, first you want to look for antique (heritage, heirloom, etc.) apple varieties. These are old varieties from before people used lots of chemicals on the crops so they have their own defense mechanisms to combat pests. They're not very popular anymore but you can still find some descriptions online such as:
"Heirloom Apples"
"Apples of Antiquity"
"Sites for Apple Variety Descriptions" (scroll down, the link list is about a quarter of the way down the page)

As a general category, russets have a thicker skin that is brownish or scabby looking. They are among the more pest and disease resistant varieties, and usually have excellent flavor. Most are antiques because modern shoppers don't like the appearance. But many of them have a sweeter layer just under the skin that's part of the protective barrier.

Next, you have to track down some good old apples. Try small private orchards, farmer's markets, and health food stores. Organic produce from anywhere is worth checking, just because these older varieties were bred for use with similar techniques and don't rely on half a dozen different sprays to produce decent fruit.

Also, wild apple trees are worth a try. Part of our "birdgift tree" (which is actually two trees grown together) produces quite marvelous yellow apples with a very sweet buttery flavor, but they're only about the size of golf balls and usually full of bugs. I often pick them anyway and just cut loose the edible parts.
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