Tale of Two Apples

I ate two apples today.

One was a Pacific Rose, a premium apple from a select club grower in the Pacific Northwest, considered the finest apple growing region on the planet. The apple was large, flawless, and beautifully-colored with a pink hue that harkened to it’s “rose” name. The flesh was crisp, juicy, and…bland. Tasted like a faint hint of bubble-gum tea that got sucked out after about the second chew, leaving a dish sponge glob for you to chew and swallow. I tossed it after three bites.

The second apple was a Arkansas Black the size of a golf ball that a Mexican lady was selling at the farmer’s market. It was rolling around in a cardboard tray along with the late season Fuji’s about the same size. Her farm is in Beaumont, an area of marginal chilling and intense summer heat. The black apple was crisp, juicy, and explosively rich, with complex winey flavors that tasted like a party going on in your mouth and everyone was invited. I’m glad I bought about every one she had.

Just because you live in a marginal growing area or your apples don’t look like the ones in the store doesn’t mean you shouldn’t grow them. In the end the only person you have to please with them is yourself.


Kevin, “we” (I work in a supermarket) sell a lot of apples from Washington state- our company is based in Spokane, Washington, and owns a produce distributor also. I know that the Pacific Northwest is famous, but a lot of the apples seem to have just the problem you describe. May be why I’m not all that impressed with a lot of boughten apples around here!

By the way, Merry Christmas!

: -)M

Commercial growers pick their crop for the packers and not the consumers. Often they pick the apples before they develop their full flavor, sometimes even before that.

Even the small growers around here are not nearly as careful as a smart home grower to harvest things at highest possible flavor (depending on the variety and how long they need to be stored, of course). They also want to concentrate their pickings to reduce labor costs.

I bought Pacific rose a couple of times. It looked really great. The taste I can describe as like eating a sweet cardboard. The last apple was rolling in my lunch bag for three weeks and I did not want to eat it. When finally I tried it, it had better less cardboardy texture but still sweetly bland. I never buy it again.

I never cared for Granny Smith until a had one off a neighbor’s tree. It was much sweeter than I thought they could get. They’re really good for fresh eating when there is enough sugar to offset the high acid.

I’m really enjoying my Granny Smith apples, left on the tree they have a bit of sweet in them. And they do really well with my low spray program.

I have to agree about Granny Smith, ours have a sweet vanilla essence about them; the store ones have a formaldehyde essence in comparison. The bit of russet around the stem on these would doom them from ever seeing the light of day in the supermarket, where uniformity and flawless perfection outweigh taste.

I was converted from hater to lover of GS by ones I tasted off the tree in Nov. Even in NY the commercial growers pick them when they are still too green. Here they seem to get better the longer they stay on the tree. It must be a great apple in Dec in CA.