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It seems every fall we have new varieties of apples to choose from. Some are very good, and some are OK. I think the Gala apple is the best to be marketed in a long time.
My all time favorite is the Red Delicious. But, all Red Delicious apples are not the same. Growing conditions affect the color, texture, sugar content, etc.
My favorite Red Delicious apple hails from Washington state. These smaller than 'standard' Red Delicious apples are packed with lots more flavor than you'll find in the larger apple. Big things come in small packages? Yes!
On my last visit to the neighborhood grocer, I saw two varieties new to me. I bought one of each. So far, I've tried just one.
The name Sweet Tango is a misnomer. These apples probably do have a high sugar content, but it is overshadowed by tartness.
This apple is so tart, it reminds me of a Granny Smith. I'm thinking, if one likes Granny Smith, but wishes it wasn't quite so tart, Sweet Tango would be for them. I'm also thinking it would be great for pies if not cooked for very long, (it is an eating, not cooking, apple).
One thing this Sweet Tango apple does have going for it is crispness. It is absolutely the crispiest apple I have ever encountered, bar none.
If you like an apple with a lot of flavor and a double portion of 'twang', check out this Sweet Tango. It's right puckerified!
If my memory serves me correctly (it seldom does these days), I read that Stark Nurseries held a competition around 1891 at the county fair for the best apple. The 'Hawkeye' apple, as it was called by a contestant, Jesse Hiatt, was entered. We almost didn't get that apple.
Stark wanted that apple desperately. But, the name tag of the entrant was lost. Stark held a competition again the following year, hoping the apple would be re-entered. Sure enough, the apple was entered again. It is reported that Stark Nurseries paid Hiatt $20,000 for rights to the apple.
Stark propagated and bred the yellow striped apple. It is from this apple we now have Stark's Red Delicious/Red Delicious apples.
As I mentioned in another article, all Red delicious apples do not taste the same. A smaller cultivar grown in Washington state, in my opinion, is the absolute best. I've never found one yet to be less than crisp, bright, and delicious.
Well, people, I went grocery shopping today. And yes, the Washington state Red Delicious apples are in! As much as I like the Gala, it can't hold a candle to Red Delicious. And what's more, the Red Delicious is usually the cheapest apple in the bins.
My thanks to the Washington state growers and to a man who really knew his apples, Jesse Hiatt.
Not an apple buff? Try this Washington state grown apple. You just might change your mind.
How do you know when you're picking apples from the grocery if they're fresh or not? Run your fingers over the skin of the apple, if it feels smooth, it's a fresh apple. But if it feels like the skin is rubbery or wrinkly, it's not a fresh apple.
By Terri H. from NV