Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Apple of my Eye

Photo from Rittman Orchards
Lots of apples look good but many don't deliver on their promise. Sinking my teeth into one that is mealy, mushy and relatively flavorless is a particular kind of disappointment. I'm always on the watch for varieties that are all an apple should be, especially this time of year when local ones are available. And I just found a new favorite at Zagara's Marketplace in Cleveland Heights.
Called Macoun, its creamy white flesh is crisp, juicy and sweet-tart. The pros, using the language of wine writers, describe it as "complex" and "aromatic" with "hints of berry, strawberry and spice notes." The skin splits and snaps like the casing of a properly made sausage when you bite into it. A hybrid of McIntosh, which I generally find insipid, and Jersey Blacks, an American heirloom varietal, the Macoun was developed in 1909 and named after a Canadian pomologist. It's a real all-rounder, great for eating fresh, cooking down into sauce or baking. I am definitely using them for my Thanksgiving pie this year.

Barney Taxel, Taxel Image Group

Unknown by me until now, I discovered that Macoun's have something of a cult following in various parts of the country and their seasonal arrival is eagerly anticipated. I did some asking around and learned that a few area growers have them for sale on site and at the weekly markets they attend: Sages Fruit Farm, Eddy Fruit Farm, Huffman Fruit Farm and Rittman Orchards. Keep your eyes out for these dark skinned beauties — it might be love at first bite for you too.

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