As a native Washingtonian, the Yakima Valley’s bountiful apple harvests were an oft-studied subject throughout grade school. Memories of former teachers lecturing on the wonders of this majestic fruit have permanently rooted in my subconscious. This information–when coupled with a working knowledge of salmonid anatomy and spawning tendencies–instilled in me a sense of regional pride, rivaled only by Randy Johnson’s glorious mullet.
To this day, I can still identify every (domestic) apple varietal at the grocery store by taste, texture, or appearance alone.
I also know that the science of apple-growing is pomology, and that the apple is in fact a member of the rose family.
- My consortium of (useless) apple facts even transcends biology. The old adage “one bad apple spoils the bunch” is derived from a Geoffrey Chauncer poem entitled “The Cook’s Tale”.
Similarly, it takes nearly seven cups of apples to make the perfect pie. And what better way to usher in the autumn months then to commemorate the season by celebrating nature’s bounty with a delicious fall pastry.
Intimidated by the daunting task of baking a pie? Listen to the Splendid Table podcast entitled “Pie Season” for tips for culinary dynamo Mellisa Cramer.
While on the subject of apple pie, check out the National song, “Fake Empire”, for the best musical apple pie reference this side of Don McClean.
- Or if the saccharine sentimentality of a homemade apple pie isn’t your thing, consult food blogger Adam McPearson’s recipe for “Scary Candy” apples. They make for a great Halloween party accessory and can occupy the hand that isn’t clutching a bottle of Roman Roth’s delectable Big Apple Wine.
NY Times food writer Florence Fabricant’s article discusses Mr. Roth’s venture in detail, noting the “whisper of effervescence” exude by Wölffer Vineyard’s signature wine.
For those with less “refined” palates, food blogger Richard Auffrey reports on the wonders of J.K. Scrumpy’s hard cider – an organic, farmhouse-style libation that pays homage to the pub-inspired drink of yesteryear.
Interestingly, the name of the cider pays tribute to the traditional English practice of “scrumping” (get your mind out of the gutter!), or clandestinely stealing apples from a farmer’s orchard.
For those lacking initiative, check out this sweet “bobbing for apples” game!
Should you find yourself hard-pressed for seasonal activities in the coming months, try your hand at baking a pie, making some scary candied apples, or scrumping at your local orchard.
Oh, and here is a little something for all the Apple fanboys out there (food porn! NSFW!) who mistakenly viewed this post.