Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Virginia Apples - North Carolina
Fall in the North Carolina mountains also means apples - and so we decided to travel along some of the smaller roads to see if we could find a local orchard or two to pick up some apples. We started by exploring some small roads in rural North Carolina, but wound up heading north and into Virginia. We must have stopped at over eight different farm stands and orchards!
Most farm stands had the 'standard, can-be-found-at-the-grocery-store' apple - Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji and the like ... but we were after smaller, less well known (at least to us) varieties.
Both C and I prefer apples that are tart and firm fleshed, and after tasting apple after apple across the miles we traveled, we wound up bringing home these four - Winesap, York, Stayman and Arkansas Black. Our grocers carry Stayman and Winesap (though not in large quantities) but Arkansas Black and York were new to us.
The York is a bit sweeter than I like, so I'll render those into applesauce this weekend. C prefers the Arkansas Black for eating out of hand, and I'll dehydrate the winesap and stayman because in the dried state, these apples have a wonderful, tart 'snappy' taste. Of course, we'll mix them for some apple butter - and I may make a pie or two ....
They're developing a large apple orchard at Horne Creek Farm with as many of the 'old' North Carolina apple varieties as they can find -- it'll be an incredible living historical record for our state and a continuation of some of our best apples!
Off to work -- have a grand day!