Over Labor Day weekend, I had the distinct pleasure to revisit one of my favorite areas in Virginia. My friend’s family owns some property near the Blue Ridge Parkway and they have an apple tree that was planted by one of the great-grandfathers thriving in the front yard of their mountain cabin. Last August, I experienced the joy of harvesting apples for the first time, which included adventures in cooking and baking with apples.
This year, I had the delight to revisit the same apple tree for its annual offering of crisp, tart apples – that, in my opinion, are perfect for creating applesauce and apple pies. In addition, I had the opportunity to pick apples from two other areas in the same neighborhood. So I have 3 distinct apple types to adventure with this coming month – and I couldn’t be more excited!
And here’s this year’s line up: all apples, and each one very different.
Apple 1 (Left): Snarky Sweets
Apple 2 (Middle): Wilson Apples
Apple 3 (Right): Teary-Tart Leathers
Note: None of these apples have been officially identified, so I’m giving each of them a nickname. Samples have been submitted to an area Cider Maker, who has in turn submitted the apples to be reviewed by an Apple Expert. This is a pretty big deal. Diane of Foggy Ridge Cider is an Apple Guru and even specializes in a plethora of “uncommon” apple species, which means that she knows all kinds of apples that the normal person wouldn’t recognize. I’d like to say the fact that she sent them higher up the Apple Chain means that these particular apples could be really special and maybe a rare type – but the truth is that all apples, whether they’re common or rare are pretty special gifts from nature. With that in mind, I anticipate what the Apple Expert will say – and I am more thankful than I can say for both of these Apple Lovers to take the time to be a part of my adventure.