Apple season begins in late July/early August in the northern hemisphere. and yet most people tell me that they didn’t know that apples had a “season”. We can thank the BigAg Industrial Complex for not knowing that, and spoiler alert – everything that grows (fruits, vegetables, seeds, & nuts) has a season.
When I was younger, I remember eating really mealy red delicious apples and deciding that I really don’t like apples. It wasn’t until the puzzle pieces clicked and I realized I just don’t like year old apples that you find at continental breakfasts and oftentimes at the grocery store.
Apple picking season begins in late July and ends in late November, depending on the variety and latitude.
“Pick an apple off the tree and it’ll last a few weeks before it starts to turn soft and rot. Store an entire harvest under controlled-atmosphere conditions and it’ll last up to 10 months, depending on variety.
To slow the proverbial sands of time, some fruit distributors treat their apple bins with a gaseous compound, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP). It extends the fruits’ poststorage quality by blocking ethylene, a colorless gas that naturally regulates ripening and aging.”
Maybe the texture of apples doesn’t bother you, but the other problem with old apples is a lack of nutrients. Antioxidant levels decrease as apples age. According to Jo Robinson, in Eating on the Wild Side, “…you would have to eat two long-stored apples to get the same anticancer benefits as one freshly harvested apple”.
So the next time you’re out shopping, I encourage you to consider the time of the year before buying apples.
While Apples are pretty much a staple in most homes in North America, I imagine that there are many varieties that you have yet to try! My grandparents had an apple tree in their backyard and I grew making apple crumbles and apple pies with my grandma. Despite all those apples as a kid, I did not really like raw apples until I was an adult. Green were too tart for me and red and yellow were always too mealy (I now know that’s because they were OLD – many months out of season). Americans are so used to getting all types of produce year round in super markets, but in reality, those foods are either stored in cold storage for many months, grown in a different climate and shipped in, or grown in a greenhouse.
As an adult, I have come to really like all kinds of pink apples: pink lady, fuji, gala, and honeycrisp. I also only eat apples during apple season and during the very early weeks of cold storage. In Northern California, apple season begins in mid-late July and generally lasts until October. Thus, I only consume apples from July-December.
Besides eating apples with almond butter, my favorite thing to use apples for is apple pie, any surprises there??? Jennifer Tyler Lee recommends that folks make an apple galette, warm cinnamon apples, or apple chips.
Wild apples have SIGNIFICANTLY more phytonutrients than our domesticated varieties – some wild varieties have up to 475 times more phytonutrients than certain domesticated varieties.
If you were to plant the five apple seeds from an apple, you would get FIVE different varieties from those new trees. Once a variety is identified, new trees are grown by grafting (a method that involves cutting off branches from a tree and attaching that branch to a less desirable tree that has been trimmed back). This is known as extreme heterozygosity.
Any apple that is less than two inches in diameter is considered a crabapple.
Most of our modern apples can be traced back to central Asia.
There were once 15,000 varieties of apples growing in the United States, now there 500 varieties.
Apples harvested at the end of apple season will store the longest – several months, as compared with apples harvested in the beginning of apple season – several weeks.
Apples store best in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
An apple with the peel contains 50% more nutrients than an apple without the peel.
Raw apples contain more nutrients than cooked apples.
Apples are a good source of vitamins C and K and potassium.