the other apple

honeycrisp apples

i know it’s fall when the morning temperature drops between the speed limits of the roads that i drive & the roads i don’t drive 😉  / a more obvious sign is when a wide variety of apples becomes available in the supermarket \ i was excited to finally find the wonderfully delicious apple variety honeycrisp / i first had a taste of it from a paddlefish teammate at dragon boat camp last april

back in the philippines, apples which appear around christmastime were of the red delicious variety / they were indeed red but definitely not delicious < in my opinion, the worst tasting apple aside from having a horrible texture > \ an easy conclusion to make after having a bite of the many other apple varieties that i discovered when i came to the u.s. / i lived in apple country \ cornell university has one of the three apple breeding programs in the u.s. <the others are at the university of minnesota & washington state university> / cornell has given us 66 apple varieties since the late 1890s, including cortland, macoun, empire & jonagold \ i almost exclusively just buy gala which was created in new zealand in the 1930s & is a cross of golden delicious and kidd’s orange red

my new favorite however is honeycrisp which was produced by the university of minnesota in 1960 & became commercially available in 1991 /  it is a cross of macoun & honeygold \ the latter is a cross of golden delicious & haralson / honeycrisp is singular in being very pricey <it’s like a designer apple> \ while gala is $1.99/lb. at my supermarket here in pittsburgh, honeycrisp is $3.99/lb.!  / BUT it is well worth it for me \ because aside from being the right sweetness & tartness plus having the perfect texture & appearance, i am not allergic to it!  yey!

some 10 years ago, i developed what i found is called oral allergy syndrome <also called pollen food allergy>  \ specifically i have an allergy to birch pollen which associates with my allergic reaction to apples, almonds, cherries, peaches, carrots & nectarines / microwaving a gala has been the solution to my OAS \ because cooking destroys the protein that triggers my allergy / but i can benignly enjoy honeycrisp raw! \ [a hypoallergenic apple is currently being engineered in italy using biotechnology / it sounds like genetic modification though instead of cross breeding ]

the non-electronic apple industry is as interesting as the electronic / from both, we can look forward for ever more varieties & innovations in the future \ one of the reasons i think is the economic life cycle of a new apple type / the apple breeding programs develop new varieties that are then licensed to specific growers \ these growers are selected for specific growing conditions of the apple type / honeycrisp for example is picky about climate conditions and grow best in minnesota, michigan & upstate new york / however because it commands an attractive price, it will likely be grown in less than perfect locations & over time lose its outstanding qualities

nonetheless there will likely be others to replace current favorites \  new varieties from cornell to watch out for in 2015 are snapdragon < an offspring of honeycrisp & an unnamed apple> and ruby frost < a cross of braeburn & autumn crisp> / these are now available in upstate new york & of course at the cornell orchards

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