The Not-So-Forbidden Fruit

by Marina M.

What’s one thing Washington state is known for world-wide? Besides our rainy weather. Which isn’t as rainy as people outside the area might think. Amazon? Microsoft? Starbucks? The ferry system, which is the largest in the country? Having four out of the five longest floating bridges IN THE WORLD? Well, maybe all of those but that’s not what I was thinking . . .

How ’bout them apples?

Earlier this month we celebrated Apple Tree Day. Which is relevant to this because after 20 years of propagation (yes, TWENTY YEARS), the researchers at Washington State University finally revealed their prize crop in the fall of 2019. The Cosmic Crisp! And I bet Washington apple growers had a big party for their orchards to begin what they hope to be a long and fruitful (pun definitely intended) legacy for the Cosmic Crisp.

It’s well known that Washington is referred to as the apple state. And there are many popular varieties grown here in a large number of orchards to prove that point. But this is the first apple exclusively created in Washington State.

I bet you’re wondering, “How can I grow my own apples in Washington (including the Cosmic Crisp!)?” And, once you do, what do you do with your (hopefully) abundant crop after they’ve been harvested?

A modern day Johnny Appleseed

Your local nursery is always a good resource for guidance on maintaining a healthy and robust apple crop. There’s also the WSU Snohomish County Extension Office and Master Gardeners and WSU Island County Extension Office and Master Gardeners at your disposal. But, never fear! The library also offers a broad range of apple growing, eating, and sustaining resources. Check out some options I’ve pulled together in the list below.

Do you  have a favorite variety? How about your favorite way to eat them (besides whole and fresh)?



8 responses to “The Not-So-Forbidden Fruit”

  1. Heather says:

    I am partial to the Jazz apple, but the Cosmic Crisp is pretty good too! My favorite way to eat apples is either in a slab pie or tart form.

    • Marina M. says:

      Those are excellent vehicles for apples, Heather! I quite enjoy the Envy apple. And, lately, I’ve found that a good brie grilled cheese with sliced apples (+/- bacon if I’m motivated to cook it up) is very satisfying!

  2. Marie B. says:

    My favorite apple has long been the Honeycrisp, but I have now added the Cosmic Crisp to that short list. There’s nothing worse than a mealy apple, and these two varieties are reliably crunchy and juicy. I prefer my apples fresh rather than cooked or baked; I quarter them, remove the seeds, and chomp away. Side note: I always worry that my crunchy apple chewing is too loud. “Is this loud? It sounds really loud to me.”

    • Marina M. says:

      Thanks for sharing your apple preferences, Marie. I do like the texture and flavor of the Honeycrisp. I encourage you to give the Envy a try, if you haven’t already. I found it is very similar to both of your favorites (maybe slightly crisper and less sweet than the Honeycrisp) and, like the Cosmic Crisp, it doesn’t brown much after it’s been cut.

  3. Erin L. says:

    I bought a discount mesh bag of generic lunch sized apples recently. So disappointed!
    Maybe some of these ideas will at least make them palatable? I was thinking apple sauce. Of course the best would be to start with perfect apples…

    • Marina M. says:

      Oh, no, Erin! Disappointment in fresh apples equals an exciting new cooked option, maybe? Applesauce is good. Apple bread or muffins? I always prefer to grate apples when baking in bread–less opportunity for odd sized chunks.
      When I was young my mom would dehydrate apple slices (from our trees) dipped in jello powder. They were a delicious treat for a little kid’s palate.

  4. Isaac H. says:

    One of my favorite snacks used to be grapples, which were Fuji apples infused with grape concentrate so they taste like giant table grapes. Sadly, it’s been a while since I’ve seen them in stores.

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