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Apple Bigotry (or going soft on the topic of apple texture)

Posted by Todd Parlo 
Apple Bigotry (or going soft on the topic of apple texture)
August 31, 2019 03:13PM
On a recent discussion on the Mantet apple the conversation got around to apple texture. I have been thinking a lot this season about preconceived notions we have on things. There is no argument that much of the criteria we have around food is culturally biased. In other parts of the world a gooey beetle is all the rage, people actually eat a "hundred" year old egg, and here in Walden, Vermont we toss away that last quarter bag of barbecue chips because they have lost their crunch.

This week I have been eating several varieties that will illustrate a commentary on fruit texture: Mantet, Irish Peach, Lowland Ras, Melba, and Vista Bella. These all have their distinctions, but all approach their flavorful best when they get dangerously close to disaster. The deathknell to apples...mealiness. But if we dare, and are patient the payoff is worth the risk. I wonder if we can distinguish the difference any more, between creamy or succulent and mealy. We all know Honeycrisp is finally to blame for the final nail in the coffin of public unrest with apple softness, but we have been breeding this trait out for a good long time. I get it, mush is mush, and a drippy experience is reserved for the noble peach. But what about that? Why do we love a gushing peach, or a creamy pear, but good god, not in an apple. In my opinion I think it is a learned response. Marketed even. It is also a shame, as many are missing out.

We might also talk about this experience as dependent on location. I mean location in terms of large commercial enterprise vs Susie's back yard. The gardeners among us will agree that the experience pulling a spear of asparagus or ear of corn right from the garden and into the pot is available nowhere but close to home. That flavor and quality will be gone a day hence. It is also true that these lowly summer apples hold another position inaccessible to the industrial food system. There is no way on god's green earth a supermarket purchase will provide the sourbet texture and berry flavors of an uber ripe Mantet. You will have to go back to the farm for this one. And I like it that way.
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