Cary, NC — I visited the farmers market at 8 AM on Saturday for one reason: apples.
Apples for Everyone
Despite what supermarkets may tell you, apples have a season. It is autumn. The greatest variety, flavor and crispness are all available right now.
We are fortunate in the Triangle to have several growers of heirloom apples – dozens and dozens of tasty varieties from a time before bio-engineering and tasteless fruit like the Red Delicious you find in plastic bags at the grocery store.
Yes, North Carolina is apple country. Here are some of the varieties I sampled at the farmers market on Saturday:
- Black Oxford – Hard and unusually sweet with a good flavor. DOB Maine 1790.
- Snow/Fameuse – At one time, thought to be the parent of the Macintosh. Its snow-white flesh does not darken when cooked. DOB Ontario 1800’s.
- Yellow Newton Pippin – Slightly tart and crisp with a terrific aftertaste. DOB 1666 New York.
I love food with a story and heirloom apples always have a history.
Some of the varieties are for the table. Others are especially good in pies, crisps or apple sauce.
Kids bring home that nasty supermarket apple in their lunch bag everyday from school? Try introducing them to the enticing appearance and taste of some fresh from the farm heirloom apples.
The Price of Apples
The price of heirloom apples at the farmers market is comparable to supermarket prices, often less.
I spent $7.00 on a medium-sized bag of assorted apples – about a dozen in all. Enough to last until Wednesday or Thursday at my house.
You could spend seven bucks for two apples at ______ (fill in the blank with your favorite high-priced supermarket).
Other Market Delights
Best bargain – one of the farmers was selling Zinna blooms for 25¢ a piece – a dollar for five.
The peppers looked amazing. The fingerling potatoes were tempting. The greens looked excellent and I came home with arugula and a very dark head of red leaf lettuce.
Story & photos by Hal Goodtree.