I spend many of my work days putting one apple in my mouth after another, so I suppose I need something dramatic to get my attention. I don’t have a favorite apple either, there are too many good ones. Sometimes eating two varieties at once creates a special eating experience not acquired by a single one.
I really don’t understand how anyone could have a consistent favorite apple to eat based on their flavor off the tree- they vary from year to year but more important there are just too many great tasting apples.
However, this year, at this point, Esopus Spitz is the biggest standout. I was at an orchard yesterday with a photographer friend shooting some photos and we had quite a range of varieties to sample- and it didn’t stop at that one orchard. He is as crazy passionate about apples as I am.
We tried some ripe Golden Russet, Northern Spy, Baldwin, Fuji, etc. They were all at about peak flavor but Spitz was the standout for both of us. Sampling one after the other, he said the Golden Russet was a very good apple but the Spitz had much more dimension. Aromatics and acid, I think, were the difference.
But then, Spitz was a little riper on a year when things are a bit behind normal. Maybe next week will bring slightly different results. Earlier in the season, Ashmead’s might have taken the day.
I have plenty of Spitz to eat right now but I still enjoy other varieties. I don’t have any Spitz on my own trees, but am really enjoying my Baldwins and would rather eat them off the tree than Spitz out of the fridge.
However, by January, it’s a pretty good bet that Goldrush will be my best apple. This year I will have some Spitz to compare them to, so we shall see. It may be that Spitz has simply had a great year around here, because it never grabbed my attention so much before. I even removed a branch on one of my own trees because it was placed too high.
Those of you who base your apple choices out of what you buy in the store or even from the you-pick really have some great days ahead when your own apples begin to ripen off your own trees. It will change your choices, I’m sure.