Apples are probably the most American of fruits. We like apples so much that Bartlett’s Quotations is full sayings about it:
The apple of my eye
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
An apple for the teacher
One bad apple spoils the entire barrel
In fact, apples are as American as, well, apple pie.
And then, of course, is Johnny Appleseed, the man crossed the country spreading seed so that no man would be without hard cider.
But, for all my love of country, I have a confession. For several years, I gave up on eating most of the orbs, and for good reason.
The old standby McIntoshes of my childhood had become flavorless.
Red Delicious can be mealy.
Gala and Fiji are a little too sweet, and Golden Delicious is sickly sweet.
McCouns were great eaten straight from the tree but they have a very short season. Most of the McCouns I’ve bought at the grocery get soft and mushy fast. And, by the way, how do you pronounce the name? is it McCoun as in crown, or McCoun as in coon?)
Bottom line: I’ve been missing the refreshing crunch and sweet-tart flavor of a good eating apple, the kind I used to pick when I worked as a picker in an orchard.
But, wouldn’t you know, just as I was beginning to think that I would never find the perfect apple, along came the SnapDragon. Developed at Cornell University and based on the Honey Crisp, these apples are the absolute best for eating out of hand: sweet, but not too sweet, and crisp, crisp, crisp. Since the variety is fairly new, its availability is not widespread, but I was lucky to discover them at my local Price Chopper.
I now have a reason to come in from the cold storage.
The SnapDragon is now the apple of my eye.