It’s almost the height of apple season again, and the variety of apples available in Washington can be staggering. Worldwide, about 7500 varieties of apples are known to humans, with a crop of 75 million tons in 2011. The United States grows about 5.65% of the global total, and of that amount, 58% are grown in Washington. In case you don’t have a calculator handy, that’s 3.3% of global production, or about 2,495,964 tons in Washington alone in 2011. It goes without saying- that’s a mind-boggling amount of apples.
Here at PCH, we like to offer a nice variety of apples from the sweetest to the tartest, to give you a nice range of different tastes and styles. The fruit company Sage Washington has a great chart of a few popular varieties of apples from sweet to tart, as well as references for their different uses as a fresh fruit, in pies, and in cooked meals.
This upcoming week (the last week of October), we have Liberty apples and Braeburn apples. Braeburn are some the tarter apples on the market, while Liberty apples have a sweeter (but still tart) flavor. Other apples we commonly carry are Gold Delicious (very sweet), Cameo (balanced with both sweet and tart), Fuji (mostly sweet with a hint of tart), and Gala (also very sweet).
Some apples can’t be eaten raw. Apples that are grown for cider production are far too tart and bitter to be eaten this way, but when processed into cider they will give the beverage that crisp, mouth-watering flavor that cider lovers enjoy. Once such cider cultivar, the Hewe’s Virginia Crab, was grown by Thomas Jefferson in the late 18th century in Virginia.
What’s your favorite type of apple?
Let us know and we’ll be sure to stock it!