Field of Science

Apple evaluation

With October looming, it was time to get out the baskets and ladders and harvest the apple crop.  As this was the first of what is hoped to be many crops (and perhaps a larger crop also), the correct harvest time is unknown, but in general the Urban Apples are varieties that are mid-season type apples, and as the risk and worry of losing the entire crop to tree rats increased, the crop was picked as these types usually are ripe in late September, although it has been so warm that many apple varieties have stayed quite green.  So color may not be a good guide to ripeness.  Another part of the reason was that yesterday the Phactors foraged successfully for squashes and apples, and as a result had Jonathon, winesap, Jonagold, and northern spy apples on hand for tasting and comparison with our Tart lime urban apple. Our evaluation was that the apple was perfectly ripe, firm and crisp but not hard.  It was juicy, with a nice apply sweet tart flavor. Not as complex perhaps as the spy, but certainly not bad.  The F1 was quite impressed and our overall finding for the Tart Lime Urban Apple was highly favorable. Just so you know, the Phactors like firmer, tarter apples than many people, who seem to prefer softer, sweeter apples.  As kids a macintosh was fine, but our palate matured. 
And it's the same with apple cider. It isn't and shouldn't be just apple juice. It needs some of that tartness and maybe just a hint of cold-stored fermentation to be any good.  Got some grocery store cider that was just too sweet apple juice, and to sweeten and flavor a curried squash soup it was fine, but no good to drink.  Maybe it needs a pinch of champagne yeast and a week or so of cold curing? 

No comments: