Completely not about beer or whiskey: Honeycrisp apples are back at my local grocery. I was so happy to find them there yesterday when I went in for milk and pork chops that I bought about 5 lbs. of them. Good deal, too: the store (PA-based Giant Food Stores) has them for $1.49 a lb.; they ran $1.99 most of last year, when they weren't more. The kids and I have burned through half of them already (Cathy was on a trip...to Fargo).
Why am I so excited? Honeycrisps are crisp, first of all: I hate a mealy apple. They are sweet and flavorful, but have a tart edge to them. The skin is firm, but not leathery. They are my favorite out-of-hand eating apple, and they add a nice flavor to a pie, too.
Gotta go get more.
"(Cathy was on a trip...to Fargo)"
Second Prize: 2 Trips to Fargo. ;-)
I want to go along next time, just to see. I've been to St. Cloud, MN; is Fargo moreso, or less? Enquiring minds want to know!
Fargo moreso? A thousand limericks come to mind. My local grower tells me that Honeycrisps take a lot of attention to grow, and require an immense amount of calcium (I think that's what he said, anyway) to be applied to the ground during the season.
I thought they were good, but not worth the amazing price of admission last year. I'll check again this time around.
Stayman Winesaps are my go-to crisp, tart/sweet fave. They won;t be around for another month, though.
SweeTango is the new Honey Crisp - same texture, more flavor ftw
Lew, am a fellow Honeycrisp lover. In fact, I love apples, period.
Right now there are some other fabulous crisp varieties coming to market, esp. Paula Red, Earliblaze, and Summer Treat. Worth tracking down.
See here about SweeTangos:
http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/dining/reviews/blog/2009/09/sweet_tango_apple.html Dave Reid is my go-to guy for good apples and cider.
As for honeycrisps, meh. Once you're spoiled rotten by an abundance of heirlooms from Reid's, you get spoiled. My wife prefers Pink Ladys, Nittanys, and Mountaineers.
Wow. Apple snobs. A whole new snobbery.
Seriously, guys, if I can get a good Northern Spy from a high-altitude orchard, I'm a happy man. I get Stayman Winesaps at my local farm market, but the skin's just a bit thick to make me perfectly happy) The Smokehouse tree in my aunt's backyard is great. And as far as SweeTangos go, it sounds like it's going to be quite a while before they're broadly available, and the growing co-op sounds like it wants to be Monsanto.
Meantime, Honeycrisps are at my supermarket, a buck and a half a pound. As they say, I'm not gonna kick them out of bed for eating crackers. Oh, and Pink Ladys are too, but they don't do much for me. Too much like a prettier Gala.
I love Honeycrisp as well. We have a local grower, Braces Orchard, Orange, PA, that has the best Honeycrisp. I look forward to them all year.
Hey, Leo. I didn't know anyone in PA was growing Honeycrisps, lucky you!
"is Fargo moreso, or less?
My lasting memory of Fargo was a night spent on the road to Bismarck (3rd prize?). My pal and I discovered that the only beer worth seeking out (at this time, prolly 1990) was Michelob Dark (no, my name is not Gunther).
Let me tell you -- Mich Dark can bring on a serious hangover.
Never really got into the town of Fargo proper, but the fact that Brainerd and Edina, MN were used for the majority of filming for the movie (Fargo) might tell you sumthin'. ;-)
Then again -- that was almost 20 years ago. Don't go in March expecting Springtime...
Way's Fruit Farm in Port Matlida is my local Honeycrisp (and at least a dozen other varieties) orchard, plus peaches, pears, nectarines, strawberries, corn, etc., etc. Outstanding local grower!!!
I find the skin on the Staymans varies from year to year, but I agree; when its thick, baby it's thick!
Steven, thanks for taking the Fargo line a step farther. Sounds like Mich Dark was a Sinamar beer, eh?
Our local farmer had his Empire [and a couple of others i forgot] some aren't quite ready yet, but some are just right! Yum apple time!
"Sounds like Mich Dark was a Sinamar beer, eh?""
Dunno Sam, was it around in 1990?
I can probably look for blame in the ingredients, but since it was going down pretty easy during head-banging at the local metal bar (in that era it seemed line N. Dakotans were either metal heads or country fans, very odd mix), I probably only have myself to blame.
On the drive from Fargo to Bismarck (late) the next morning, the conversation between my friend and me was next to nil for the sake of keeping the sound levels down.
Steven, Sinamar has been around for over 100 years and is responsible for the color in many well-known amber and dark beers, both domestic and imported. Since it's made only from malt, it actually adheres to the Reinheitsgebot, even though it's an additive. More here:
"Sinamar has been around for over 100 years..."
So why the allusion to it being used in the Mich Dark? Because it's known to cause pounding hangovers? ;-)
Nah, I'm betting it wasn't the malt coloring that gave you the bends!
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